Life’s wanderings took Margaret and me to the former Heath School this
morning; sitting in the front hallway, I remembered our first experience of that
We moved to Heath in June of 2002 from California (my roots and Margaret’s U. S.
roots always were here and not there) without much idea of what to expect. We
spent the summer readying for the start of our house renovation. That September
we saw notice of a talk being given at the School by Elisabeth Sifton, daughter of the
great German-American philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr, who summered in Heath
years ago. So we went.
I was struck immediately both by the size of the turnout for a small village and
the high level of intellectual sophistication that Ms. Sifton’s talk (correctly)
presumed in the audience. Later we learned that that beautiful school building had
been designed by a local architect. We realized we had retired to the right place.
As I thought of that day now nearly two decades ago, I looked anew at the many
reminders of the generations of schoolchildren who have been educated in Heath
School. I was reminded yet again of what an incredible social, historical, cultural,
educational, and, yes, emotional asset that building is to our town. We must treasure
it for the treasure it is and the treasure it holds. —Don Freeman