By Dan Brosgol
Spring in Bedford may have begun last week, but that sure didn’t fool anyone, let alone Mother Nature, as I ran daily in single-digit wind chills.
Besides, if you live in Bedford then you might know that spring doesn’t officially begin in this town until two things happen:
- At the curve of Railroad Avenue, as it turns up toward the tennis courts and track, is a dirt parking lot for the soccer and baseball fields at JGMS and for the trailhead of the bike path that heads out towards Great Meadows. In the winter, the DPW puts huge boulders in front of the entrance to the parking lot so no one will park there in the snow and ice, but every spring a nice piece of heavy equipment comes by and moves them out of the way. That’s when you know that the trail is clear for running and biking, and with my running obsession it means that the lonely, cold, and unforgiving winter of asphalt running over the frozen roads of Bedford is about to give way to six months of scenic runs on the bike trail towards Concord, up the narrow-gauge railway into Billerica, or in the Burlington Landlocked Forest, where I can get lost for miles. I’ve been watching those boulders like a hawk recently. . .and can’t wait until they’re gone.
- Another Bedford special is the annual Pole Capping, which takes place at Wilson Park, the junction of Great Road, Concord Road, and North Road. For the past few years (and perhaps since the beginning of time) Pole Capping Day falls on the same day as Opening Day for Bedford’s Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball, so the lucky kids who don’t have 10 a.m. games get to stand and watch the festivities with their uniforms on. It’s a lovely tapestry of history, patriotism, and baseball. . .in short, a perfect way to usher in springtime in Bedford.
This year, I’ll be balancing two opening day games on Pole Capping day: my coaching debut in the American League and my second grader’s Farm League opener, so the odds are long that I’ll be up at Wilson Park, but if you’re not busy, definitely go check it out. The pageantry of the muskets, the uniforms, and the re-enactment enactment is one of the many things that make Bedford special, and, as we get ready for a Patriots’ Day that will be the most meaningful one of my lifetime, this year’s just might be a little more special.
Happy Spring. . .almost.