Rocky Path (Issue 736)

In which we are reminded not to be put off when others describe particular clients or prospects as “difficult”.

The sun was at about 2:00pm to our right, the wind coming at a good clip from the south west as we drove slowly onto the narrow causeway connecting Beach Street with Gooseberry Island. Our first visit, an accidental find as we explored Westport, Massachusetts. Our view at that moment obstructed, we drove slowly forward toward the island and a retreating beach-goer walking toward us, his face and arms almost matching his slightly faded Nantucket red T-shirt.

“Is there parking down there,” we asked?

“Yes, a few spaces,” he replied, motioning vaguely toward the island, then adding, “I’ve just walked around the island. Whew!” As in, “It was an E F F O R T, I am woofed.”

“Fair enough,” we thought, driving slowly past sleeping recreational surf-fishers. We turned into a parking space and unloaded some beach gear.

As my wife settled into her beach chair and pulled some literature about local real estate and activities from her bag, I said, “I think I’ll take a walk.”

“Are you sure you want to do that?” she asked, “after what we heard?”

I thought about it for a moment, then set off across the parking lot.

Gooseberry Island, table flat and now covered in scrub brush and poison ivy, has an interesting history which includes the construction of 50+ cottages and houses (now gone, either from hurricane damage or physical removal after the Commonwealth of Massachusetts claimed the land as part of a State Park) and two now-abandoned, graffiti-enhanced concrete watch towers erected during the Second World War.

I hopped down onto the sand and rocks and began walking South down the western side of the island toward the watch towers. Some portions of the walk involved soft sand, others involved picking my way across ankle-testing layers of rocks ranging from a couple of inches to a foot in diameter. Long story short, I passed the watch towers, stopped to take a couple of pictures at the southern point, rounded Gumby’s Head on the east side of the island and found my wife, sitting in her beach chair, 35 minutes later.

“How was that?”

“Very pleasant,” I replied, wondering what the causeway-walking Nantucket-red colored fellow had been thinking. “An easy walk.”

Walks are like that. One person’s experience of a walk or a climb can be different from another person’s. Just like with the companies and people we call on, we can miss opportunity if we are put off when someone else says the path is difficult.


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