Each time that I open my computer, I hesitate there for a moment of pleasant reverie. There, on my desktop is a lovely picture of Cumberland, a few years back.
The picture, taken from a drone, encompasses the west side of Cumberland. There in the middle is a long brown building, right smack at the front edge of the overhead bridge. I had a small apartment in the rear of that building in the late 1960s.
Actually, it was when they were excavating for the structure of the bridge, which would soon be there. They started the digging about a week after I moved in.
Would I have moved in had I been smart enough to figure out that they were going to be putting that bridge there?
But I have happy memories of that brief period of life. My two children and I would leave the apartment, and walk around to the drugstore, which was in the front part of the building, facing Green Street.
We would buy ice cream bars and then proceed to walk across the Blue Bridge and sit on the grass just beyond. T
here I would read their Little Golden Books while they ate their ice cream and we would talk, and sometimes sing, and listen to the church bells at noon.
The bridge is still there and the building is still there, but those days are gone and live only in our memories.
But I always liked that end of town and would walk up and down Washington Street just to admire the architectural detailing.
Now I have this fascinating page that comes up when I open my computer and I can still, mentally, walk up and down the street.
From here we see the large, strong building belonging to the Masons. Wow! I am not sure who designed or built this building but it looks as though it was built to withstand the atom bomb!
Right beyond that is the Emmanuel Episcopal Church. What a truly lovely building that is, inside and out!
I appreciate the designer and the builder, but what I like the best is those Tiffany windows. When the sun shines through those windows, can one resist smiling?
Speaking of churches, I remember once when I was young (a long time ago) that I heard a man talking about Cumberland. He said that if you stand in the right spot and look, then Cumberland could be called “The City of Seven Spires.”
Beyond the church and up the hill and you come to the courthouse! Designed, like several other Cumberland structures, by Wright Butler.
How I would have liked to have been in a class taught by him. I am sure I could have learned a lot more than what I found in my father’s illustrated plan-books. Maybe I would have become an architectural designer, but probably not.
I have been fortunate enough to have traveled somewhat. I loved riding on the trains. I could write a book about what I saw from those train windows.
Maybe I will — but probably not. I saw (my first) homeless people from a train window.
I reasoned that in California, it is warm enough to live in a tent, all year long.
But I also saw scenes of splendor. Beautiful buildings, with wide expanses of lawn.
Sometimes at night, when much of the world seemed asleep, I would sit by the train window and watch (and critique) the scene passing by.
I have traveled and seen a lot of beautiful scenery, but none more attractive than we have right here.
Loretta Nazelrod Brown is a Cumberland freelance writer. Her column appears every other Sunday in the Times-News.