#7 Ephton Valley

| November 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

From Lilly’s Blog

Founded in 1830, Ephton Valley (population 4,984) lies deep in the Berkshires. For the first hundred or so years of its existence, Ephton’s main industry was agriculture: dairy farms, sawmills, that kind of stuff. It was never a particularly wealthy town but the people lived well and build a community that included schools, churches and even a well known theater.

In the early 1900’s things began to change. One town over, a college opened and their population exploded. Well, exploded relatively speaking for the Berkshires. As a result, Ephton Valley became home to the spill over. As word got out about how beautiful the land out here was, with its lush forests and rolling mountains, tourism suddenly became its own business. Inns and restaurants started popping up. Artisans opened shops to sell their wares to tourists. In 1953 the Kent Art Museum opened, becoming the town’s new crown jewel and cementing Ephton Valley as a cultural hub to visit in New England.

Of course, to those of us who were raised here see it far differently. The art stuff is nice and all but in reality it’s just another small town. The commerce part of town is just a few bocks long, dotted with mom & pop shops. Frankly, there’s not much to do.

The locals tend to vote democrat and pontificate on social issues but underneath it all it’s truly a conservative town (in the literal not political definition of the word). There is a very strict, albeit it unwritten code: how to dress (preppy), how to behave (reserved), what to talk about in public (the latest book you read), what to keep private (your real opinions on the neighbors), and so on. Growing up this was not really an issue for me. I was already pretty quiet and never prone to dressing outrageously. Mostly I just grew bored with this town, as I have discussed before.

Things really took a turn for the worst with the arrival of Blake Lewis in recent years, although most people will tell you he’s been this town’s savior. All he has really done is inspire greed in people’s hearts. No longer content being a small, self sustaining cultural hub, the locals have begun to see dollar signs. And if that means embracing the philosophy of a man like Lewis and sacrificing any last scrap of individuality that may be left, so be it.

Too bad they have never stopped to think about what selling your soul to Lewis could really mean. Why? Well, I’ll tell you tomorrow when I finally profile him.

[Note: The town in the picture is Williamstown, MA. Ephton Valley is fictional, of course.]

Copyright © 2010, Rolando Garcia.

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Category: Drama, Humor

About the Author ()

Rolando is extremely excited for 30 character. He has spent most of his time since graduating college in 2002 working the film industry. But his passion has always been storytelling and he is going back to his roots. He can't wait to see what everyone else is cooking.

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