The South Shore Fights Back
Well, if this blog’s going to turn into a forum for shore-ist propaganda (see: Liza and her North Shore diatribe), then it’s surely time for me to throw my South Shore hat into the ring. It’s not in my South Shore-ian nature to sit by and let a bitter rival take the stage without a fight. Fans of the North Shore: You’ve met your match.
Because the true South Shore includes all that is holy, from the Island Creek Oyster-ridden harbors of Deluxebury (né Duxbury), through the Aerosmith enclave of MarshVegas (né Marshfield), across the Irish Riviera (né Scituate) and up to the freakishly Greenwich-esque town of Hingham, I’m choosing to leave a few towns out. Offended because you’re from Weymouth and think you’re part of the South Shore? You should be. But, if you look deep into your heart of South Shore-loving hearts, you too will one day realize that the true South Shore consists only of the following towns: Duxbury, Marshfield, Scituate, Cohasset and Hingham. Sorry, Hull.
Sure, the North Shore’s got nicer public landscaping and a better mall, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather say I’m from than the South Shore. If you’re curious as to where all this pride is coming from, consider the following –
Scituate Town History is Required Learning
While seventh-graders in Kansas study the Civil War, kids in Scituate (like me!) study town history. From the Wompanoag nation that originally named the town Satuit (Native American for “cold brook,” aka the North River that runs between Scituate and Marshfield) to the Men of Kent who settled Scituate in 1636, the Scituate Public School system drills every little historical fact into kids’ highly impressionable brains. We recite town poems about the Old Oaken Bucket and visit town historical sites like the Lawson Tower during field trips. We learn that Thomas W. Lawson settled in Scituate and built the sprawling Dreamwold estate (which has since been turned into condos, along with the zoo quarters where his menagerie of exotic animals were housed) with the millions and millions of dollars he earned through the copper business (which he subsequently lost after a merciless takeover and watering of stocks by none other than William Rockefeller). And we learn about young Rebecca and Abigail Bates, who saved Massachusetts from British attack during the War of 1812 by playing “Yankee Doodle” on their fife and drum, tricking the Redcoats into thinking that American military troops were ashore and ready for battle.
How’s that for public school curriculum?
Scituate Has 13 Distinct Parts
For a “small fishing town with a big drinking problem,” Scituate’s cartographical goals are pretty lofty. A town of barely 18,000, Scituate can name 13 distinct parts of town – the benign and geographically-helpful First, Second and Third Cliffs, as well as the more esoteric Egypt (I’m told it has something to do with the fertile waters of the North River mimicking those of the Nile…). Either way, the need to divide such a small town into so many distinct parts is purely realistic. In a town where the majority of its citizens stays within town limits (save for the monthly trip to the mall), it’s necessary to distinguish different neighborhoods from one another. It gives people a sense of accomplishment to drive “all the way from the Harbor to the West End;” more so than merely driving “from one part of Scituate to another.” Another reason for the geographical diversity: The Scituate 500, a driving challenge undertaken by Scituate High Schoolers, where one drives around the perimeter of town, hitting all 13 distinct neighborhoods. Beer may or may not be involved.
From town-mandated history lessons to an inherent sense of greatness and grandness, it’s no wonder I grew up to love, appreciate and defend the South Shore and Scituate, more specifically. As for everyone else? Well, they’re just jealous.
Posted by Amelia