Route 2 in Massachusetts is a pretty mythic road, to my eye. You've got the cradle of the nation at the eastern end, with Lexington, Concord, the Battle Road, and all that 1775 stuff. On the western side of the state, the Mohawk Trail evokes a romanticized Indian past, linked infrastructurally with the dawn of the car age itself. I've been thinking about all of that as I drive back and forth to Boston, and trying to figure out how to connect it with the very ordinary experiences of roads and driving that usually feel very ahistorical and disconnected from larger histories or contexts.
So I was tickled to hear Royalston storyteller Norah Dooley's recent story about her experience of finding herself as a driver--and connecting with a personal past--on Route 2. Her short piece, called "Transported: Driving with the Ancestors" is online here. I still think that modern highways separate us from history in insidious ways, but Norah's story confirms my sense that there's more to be explored in terms of how drivers make their own mythic connections to this and other spaces of automobility.