Will This Be The Story Of Cape Cod?

clark haddad

SANDWICH — Talk about mixed messages.

Six years ago, voters at town meeting rejected a proposal to give the Board of Selectmen permission to sell the vacant Clark-Haddad Memorial Building. On Monday night, given an opportunity to put their money where their hearts were, voters rejected a proposal to spend $1.1 million in community preservation funds to renovate the building and create a community center.

“It’s an enigma. It’s a contradiction. It’s baffling,” said Frank Pannorfi, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, a day after the vote.

Welcome to Cape Cod, where progress is frowned upon and grumpy old people who fear change rule the roost.

“Hey look at that cool old historic building, don’t you dare tear that down! But don’t you dare create a community center that could help drive young families to the area either, leave it alone!”

“Hey look at those beautiful beaches that millions of people would love to come and enjoy! We better make a set of rules longer than the Declaration of Independence to ensure no fun is had on them and nobody comes from afar to enjoy them!”

“Hey look at all the people having a great time at that local watering hole! We better take away their entertainment license so the noise doesn’t bother Jebediah Crustington III. He lives less than two miles down the street!”

“Hey look at all this wonderful waterfront property! We better change the zoning laws so nobody can build any type of commercial operation that could inject millions of dollars into our local economy!”

And on and on and on it goes, nothing changes, nobody is proactive about the future of Cape Cod, everybody gets old, we tear down night clubs and hotels, replace them with retirement homes and Cape Cod sinks into the Atlantic.

It’s a sad story, but unless something changes soon, it will be the story of Cape Cod.

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Comments 13

  1. My father grew up in Brewster. I have been coming to the cape for 53 years. In that time it has changed in huge ways. The cape is much more developed. I do not blame anyone who lives there for wanting to preserve the beauty, charm and natural resources of Cape Cod. It has changed so much already. Much of the allure of the cape, is keeping it from changing. Anytime I have been there during the summer season, seems as though there were plenty of tourist, off season well, it's off season less people of course.

  2. I enjoy the charm, and think there should be a hault on these big developements etc. Your right, there is limited activities especially off season. When I was a young girl, I saw the movie animal house at the movie theater in Orleans, When it burnt, it was never replaced and now it's a CVS i believe. I saw my first rock concert at the colesium.. Three Dog Night. The Cape will always be a special place to me. Do you have any ideas how all this can be halted? the developement changed in order to keep famililes on the cape?

  3. So true! In the 70's they had the cape cod collosium where Zeppelin played!! Plus the casino milhill club and on and on young people actually had FUN!! Not so much any more! Ther is no place for young people to have fun unless you want to go to that shit hole club there in hytown and get stabbed ok your way to your car after wards!

  4. The Cape was my home. Hadn't been back in years. Felt like a tourist. For four days it was kind of awesome to see how little had changed in as many decades. That's the charm of Cape Cod. Day five? I was bored.

    There's a pizza place that opened in my town. World class pizza. Nobody I knew on Cape knew about it. Why? Because it was 'new'. It was 'different'. And God forbid — it actually cost more than Dominos.

    Cape Cod is Dominos. It just doesn't know it yet.

  5. Wow – what a sad article – who wrote this so we can put them out of their misery.
    I grew up going to the cape a couple times each summer in the (70s and 80s) – and the traffic was already getting bad then.
    If you change the zoning laws – if you ignore the things that make the Cape as attractive as it is It will became some mess of franchises that exist everywhere else.

    Some people actually live there- Year round – My Grandmother (one of the last of the old style Quakers) and an Aunt were residents until they passed. Property values skyrocketed so families were forced to sell – either the money was too attractive or the taxes were bleeding them dry.

    These days its already nearly impossible during the summer to get anywhere without massive amounts of traffic. Shopping centers and trendy markets and resteraunts that most residents can't afford or would care to go to.

  6. I don't know why people think there's no fun to be had on the Cape because there is so much to do. They just need to round up all the drug dealers (nationwide), cut the commercial malaka, and kill the ticks… Then you make your own fun with water sports, horseback riding, picnics, bike trails, arts and crafts and things like we did in the old days, without all the electronic gadgets with everyone texting at the dinner table. IMO 🙂

  7. Your right of course – I have been away a long time – the last few times I have been to the cape I could see some of the changes. But both of my family one in Sandwich and the other on a house overlooking the beach in Brewster. So I have lost touch with the level of change and disatisfaction of the families that have lived there for generations. I have two cousins who have since moved to the cape – because they loved it as children – Neither seems inclined to change the cape to a complete tourist attraction – or to halt needed restorations or as this article points out 0 a benefit to the community that can't happen but for the wrong and stagnant reasons.
    I lived in Holland for bit, Vlissingen on the Zeeland province – A touristy city on the english channel. There – all the great property and land was bought up by rich Germans – which "invade" their area every summer.

  8. I had moved down there for about 4 years after I got out of high school in a central mass town. Always went down for vacation as a kid. Good place to visit for a while. But living there is a different story slow and nothing to do in the winter and if you have to get anyplace or travel from job to job in the summer time good luck to you and you learn the back roads fast might be an extra 15 min with no traffic but it will save you an hour in the summer. Not my cup of tea I guess…

  9. What Cape Cod do you live on, i live here too, and there is nothing for youth except alcoholism and opiod addiction, which in itself is a sure sign of youth left out of the equation. You give the kids of the cape a community college with little to no programs, a over regulated beach. The youth are hopelessy out voted, which i might add is a dismantling of a true democracy!
    There was a town vote to add money to the dennis yarmouth school system no vote!
    But year later 12 mil to expand a senior center in dennis!
    what a sense of community and civic responsibility!
    Town managers and commission, all elected officials should have to be born here or grow up here!
    We need to quit treating this place like a giant grave yard with a good view!
    The youth who live here matter as well!

  10. Little had changed????? I'm only 55. When I was 15 I hitch hiked from E. Falmouth to Marstons Mills. It took a lot longer than I would have imagined back then. I past a couple of gas stations, a liquor store and maybe 2 traffic lights. Today it takes almost as long to drive that distance as it did for me to hitch hike it back in the 70's. The strip malls, developments, traffic lights and of course restaurants, line nearly every inch of highway. The population has about doubled in my home town of Falmouth since the 70's. Almost nothing is as it was, anywhere I can think of. Although, I don't get as far down as Wellfleet, I know that everywhere from the Bourne Bridge to Dennis has changed. Drastically! Most of what has been built is the same crap you can find anywhere in the world. The Cape I grew up in and still remember was different. It was fun. I was a place to be proud of and a place that we all felt a community spirit. That's all mostly gone now… Investors and people from all over have bought our Cape Cod and just built places for profit. They took our land marks and "modernized" things to make as much money as they can and took away the pride and community spirit. That's why you were bored… There's far too many that have come to experience Cape Cod but, brought all the crap with them that they were coming to the Cape to get away from. Cape Cod doesn't need to have "new" and by god, it doesn't need another Pizza Place. A pretentious pizza place at that. It needs to go back to the different, the old Cape charm. The fun places it used to have. The Casino in Falmouth heights for instance. I visited the "New" Casino a couple of years back. It broke my heart. Hey, it wasn't world class dinning back when I was young but, the food was at least good and the service fast and friendly. Now!! The service sucked! The food sucked! And the price was outrageous. I'd rather go to The British Beer Company across the street. You can't find another one of those anywhere can ya? The real problem is that, The Cape isn't owned by Cape Coders anymore. It's not fun and different anymore. It's been bought and made into some investors image to suck money out of everyone it can. They've taken the Capes soul… There has always been problems on the Cape but, nothing to compare to what's going on now. Instead of people coming to help fix the problems and make the Cape better, they came with more problems and took away the pride and community spirit… All for the F'ing mighty dollar bill.
    Who the Ef cares about Pizza!

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