In the mid 1990's, my Sunday morning routine during the winter months consisted of grabbing a coffee, roll, and newspaper in Port Chester, and taking them to Byram Park in Greenwich. I would usually spend about an hour here reading, interrupted only by occasional glances at the harbor. With the exception of a few early risers, the park was a quiet and appealing place to start the day. Eventually the quiet began to disappear, and I stopped visiting. I never made a decision to stop going; it just lost it's appeal.
A van started showing up and the driver would rev his engine nonstop. No matter where I parked, he always seemed to be within a few spaces of me. Weeks later, a man began pacing in front of my car arguing with someone over the phone. He seemed to have the same argument every week. With time, the car stereos began to be played louder and louder.
I never could figure out what happened. Had the noisy guy in the van opened the floodgates by reving his engine? Once one person makes noise, the second and third feel less restrained. Or was everyone trying to drown out the other noise by increasing their own volume? Or was it all just a coincidence? I do a good job at recognizing human behavior, but I get failing grades when it comes to understanding it.
Byram Park includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, baseball fields, a beach, and a small marina. It is operated by the Town of Greenwich and a visit requires a permit from May through October. When I visited this week, the driver reving his van and the man yelling into his phone were neither seen nor heard.