Cars whiz by going fifty to sixty miles per hour down High Ridge Road in North Stamford. The road serves as a main conduit for working people living in exclusive northern neighborhoods to get to their corporate jobs in Stamford or to catch a train into New York City.
What was originally a dirt path for farmers to cart their goods to the Stamford market that once huddled close to the Long Island Sound, High Ridge is now a racecourse. Hidden along the side of an old stone wall on this road is a symbol of the past. A rusting hitching post for horses sits quietly unnoticed by everyone, except maybe for my dog and I taking our pre-rush Sunday walk.
It is only on early Sundays that I can imagine horses standing and waiting for their masters. The hitching post sits in front of an old home that looks as if it might have been built in the nineteenth century or earlier. Perhaps the house was a tavern, mill, or general store where the farmers stopped for refreshments or an exchange of goods.
The hitching post is not elegant; it is simply a metal ring attached to a metal post that has been driven into a big rock. Like much of early American devices such as the cotton gin and the telephone, function tended to outweigh form for the architect of this post. Now this poor hitching post has no function since no horses ever come by. It would certainly be dangerous now for anybody during rush hour to stand around and admire it. So my dog and I admire it on Sundays.
Unfortunately, the commuters don’t see the hitching post. They just don’t have time to stop and reflect.