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The phrase "you can't go home again" is such a cliché
these days that it's cliché to even say it's cliché. Plus, when
Thomas Wolfe wrote the book the cliché comes from, he was speaking
metaphorically. Wolfe died in 1938, the same year the four towns
of the Swift River Valley officially ceased to exist.
For the people who used to live in those towns "you can't
go home again" isn't a metaphor. It's a fact. And so they
find themselves going back by proxy as best as they can.
These different "sentimental journeys" back to the
valley have helped them come to terms over the years with their
loss and that of the beauty of the place that replaced the valley.
Ironically, the people whose homes were destroyed to build the
Quabbin Reservoir and its surrounding reservation will be the
first to tell you what a gorgeous, peaceful oasis it is.
Part III: Actually, You Can Go Home Again
Moving a house from Greenwich, MA.
Credit: Massachusetts DCR
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