Wind: 5 mph
To The Editor:
Fie on Sharon Johnson for being ashamed of her address.
The Dump Road has been one of the most important arteries in the town of Warren. It leads to what once was the town dump, a small dump but a major gathering place and Saturday morning social center.
Everybody went to the dump. We listened to "Music To Go To The Dump By" and carted our own trash. It was customary to bring a six-pack to share and sometimes a .22 for shooting rats. There were no 'steaming piles of refuse.' Bernie, our dump man, was fastidious about keeping things bulldozed over but not before the stuff that was too good to throw away was set aside in the warm-up shack that doubled as a boutique.
There was a selection of broken furniture, toys, games with pieces missing, intact crockery, dented pots usable in camp, books, magazines, hardware still attached to doors and other pieces of houses, appliances, some of which worked. It was a virtual treasure trove of replacement parts and a field for artists, sculptors and crafters seeking creative materials.
When we had a town dump, people didn't put heaps of "free stuff" out on the road. They took things to the dump where all the stuff was free and dump picking was an outdoor sport.
We don't have the old-fashioned town dumps anymore. They're gone. Trash is trucked far away to impersonal sanitary landfills. The old town dumps are buried in unmarked graves. None have been designated as historical landmarks although they hold a lot of history.
Our dump man, Bernie, who lived in the Pitcher Inn, has passed on. Kit Hartshorn, the former town historian, had the foresight to keep the name Dump Road when the town finally had to put up road signs. The artifacts hidden up there will provide valuable clues for future anthropologists seeking a peek into the 20th-century way of life in Warren.
Residents of Dump Road own a unique part of our past and a proud location.