WCAI – The Mill Hill Club holds fond memories for Cape Codders who were regulars during its heyday. Many of them, like Kerry Jason of Yarmouth, turned out on Tuesday morning to watch the building fall to the wrecking crew.
“It’s very sad, actually,” she said. “Yeah, I’m standin’ here lookin’ at it, and it’s crazy to think of all the times that we were here, and snuck in, and everybody was just here to meet another friend or just have fun. Even the parking lot afterwards was just as fun as it was inside all night.”
The site will soon be revitalized as an assisted living facility. And while everyone agrees that the old nightspot needed to be torn down, the Mill Hill Club will live on as a fond memory for its former patrons and employees. The people looking on in the grey drizzle seem like family…gathering one last time to bid farewell to a special place that had one heck of a good run.
I wasn’t going to write about this because honestly, I’ve never been to the Mill Hill, and it seems extremely disingenuous to eulogize something you didn’t know. After the 7,348th email I received from a weeping middle aged dude crying about how sorely missed The Mill Hill will be and how sad of a day yesterday was, I finally read an article about it. This is when I realized that this story is a microcosm of the story of Cape Cod. The Mill Hill, a beloved place that people had fun at and loved, was torn down to make room for a retirement home. Oh the irony.
All of the emails we received had a common thread running through them, they were all stories of hugely fond memories that people who live on The Cape now, developed when they were younger. Many of them were summer people who chose to settle here. These 40 something’s moved to Cape Cod when it was time to settle down because of these memories. This is what people don’t understand, when we rail against The Fun Police, when we advocate night life and the arts and good restaurants and live music, we do it for a reason. When younger people are allowed to enjoy themselves here they develop memories and a fondness for Cape Cod that stays with them forever. When it is time for them to settle down, buy a house and start a family many of them will choose this peninsula because of those memories. As a result Cape Cod won’t lose all of its young people and we don’t have to tear down the Mill Hill Club to make way for a fucking retirement home.
I was interviewed recently by Boston.com for an article about why The Cape is losing all of its young people. I never shared the article on this website because it was extremely disappointing. I thought someone was finally going to tell our side of the story. I answered the reporter’s questions at length, writing thousands of words on the subject explaining this very theory, his response was to boil my entire interview down to this… “Making the region more fun to visit will ultimately make people think it might be fun to live there, too.”
This is what we are up against. People just don’t get it, and the ones that don’t will always say that we just want to party. They don’t understand that we see a big picture, that there is an actual theory behind our anti-fun police stance. Unfortunately sometimes it seems like they are winning and yesterday was one of those days. We will keep on fighting though, the story of The Mill Hill Club may have come to an end, but there is no way in hell we are going to let the story of Cape Cod have that same ending.
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