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Villages of Talbot County Most important, the village also had homes with families living in them. There were jobs on the farms and on the water and in the service industries that supported the communities. Nowadays, the businesses are mostly gone except in the largest villages such as Tilghman or Cordova. As the employment opportunities moved to the towns, so did the families. During the boom in land prices leading up to the recession, locals discovered they couldn’t afford to buy homes in the villages; those who inherited homes couldn’t afford not to sell. Newcomers, attracted by spectacular properties at very affordable prices by city standards, began buying properties. A great many became vacation homes, even rentals, or were used during hunting and fishing seasons. A few became homes again as the owners aged and decided to retire here. Residents are much older now, on average, and, most sadly, families with children are becoming scarce. Most villages are pretty quiet most of the year, except right now in August, as the grandchildren flock in. The sound of their play and laughter is like sparkling music or summer rain on a hot, parched street. All this change grieves the older generation to some degree or other, both locals and those who have been

here long enough to be witnesses. We all sense that we are watching the passing of a way of life. Then there are the Elves. In one of those strange coincidences, as I was pondering this poignant transformation of the villages, a book I had ordered arrived in the mail. It was by Henry Gee, a British scientist whose books I have found most thought-provoking. This one was The Science of Middle-Earth, in which he considers how J.R.R. Tolkien may have arrived at some of his creations or adapted them from the pre-Christian mythologies of Britain and the North, and what, after all, Tolkien meant by what he wrote. Now, before you run off, Gentle Reader, I do realize that not everyone is a fan of Tolkien and his imaginary world of Middle-Earth. That’s a shame, for you are missing much, but perhaps you saw the movie, at least? Anyway, here’s what struck me as relevant to the present discussion. Gee considers the main theme of the Lord of the Rings saga is that of loss ~ the passing away of things.

Elves are leaving the Middle-Earth, never to return.

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September 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times September 2013

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