Vol. II No. 23 12/1/2021
The Stockbridge Leak
by Denny Alsop
He got out of the rusted Stockbridge DPW truck in my yard, lit up a cigarette, and said, 'Dennis, the Town of Stockbridge has an emergency. You see, Dennis, we have a leak. And Public Works took a unanimous vote at our coffee break, me, Gilbert, Red, Bobby, that you are the one to solve it.
'Dennis, this leak is bigger than anything you can imagine! Some nice little old lady is going to be driving her Volkswagen along and she and her car are going to disappear through the blacktop into a cavern cut by this here leak'. He blew a smoke ring. 'We may never see her again!'
'Lake Averic is sinking six inches a day, Dennis, and none of us can find the leak. And we've been looking all summer. And we decided, with all your canoeing about, cruising the woodlots, logging off our hilltops, trespassing the estates to pick wildflowers, you might just stumble on our leak!'
'A water leak', I sputtered. 'How would I ever spot a water leak? Those water mains are buried deep underground.' What was also going through my head was that 'Clint' who had teased me since first grade, was asking my help, and for Clint to ask my help, the situation must be dire.
'Dennis, understand', he said scuffing the rough gravel drive with one boot, 'that my having to ask for your assistance, gives me a pain somewheres'. He said that and shifted his weight and muttered, 'but I'll get over it'. He got back in the truck. 'We're losing two hundred thousand gallons a day. Town Hall has posted a ban; No washing cars, no filling pools, no watering lawns.'
Sunday, a week later, I took the canoe, as usual, up from Park Street on the Housatonic. Eighty yards above the Route Seven bridge, I heard something under the canoe, a hissing sound. I backed off the paddle. The canoe drifted down. I saw it, an underwater geyser of sand shooting up from the riverbed. Amazing! I had found the Stockbridge Leak.
The conclusion of The Stockbridge Leak in the next issue.
Farewell fall! Photo: Jay Rhind