In 1994 I had just established my Massachusetts residency and was living in a small apartment on the third floor of a drafty old farmhouse in Newton Centre. One of those great first apartments for a couple with odd ceilings, some cool features, and a nice walk to the T. 

Since then, the house and the barn that stood next to it have been turned into a massive single family house. The apartment is long gone. 

In November I voted in my first Massachusetts election, this one for Senate. Other than a Kennedy/ Romney battle, I don’t recall what else was on the ballot, but I remember the bake sale. I proudly walked into the Mason-Rice school, voted, and then walked over to the bake sale to buy a brownie. 

It made me feel like I was truly part of a community. To me, the bake sale was as much a part of voting as the vote itself. 

I vote in a different elementary school now and the bake sale isn’t there for every election (only the biggest ones). I’ve also put a few of my own goodies in there, and always buy something. 

The state almost killed the bake sale earlier this decade, but it managed to survive. Now I wonder, as beneficial as early voting is to the entire process, what happens to the bake sale?