Tears for Newtown

Do tragedies have to become more horrific for them to register at all? Already this week there had been one mass shooting in a mall, now the kind of thing that goes forgotten after a few days. There’s no chance that the 27 dead in Newtown, Conn., will fade from memory. That 20 of the dead are children is almost beyond comprehension.
I know a little about Newtown. I had a friend who taught at the high school and went there once to attend one of her fund-raisers. I knew some people in that town. Producers, who found it a charming place to live and work and not far from New York.
It’s a beautiful little community the way a lot of Connecticut towns are. You could see it in the somber footage they kept repeating all day on TV. Winding roads, so many trees you’d think you were in a forest. The sign for the school, handpainted on wood in the manner of charming rural towns, said in large letters Visitors Welcome. What schools are so inviting any more these days?
Christmas lights were everywhere in town, parachuting journalists kept mentioning — as if those who strung them were thinking of juxtaposition with an unforseen tragedy.
Driving east to Hartford on I-84, Newtown was the curve after Danbury that told you you were on your way to Connecticut’s interior, on the way to the capital. Now the exit and its signs will now mean something very different.
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