I love living in New England. I love the climate; I love the green of my marsh reeds in summer and the pumpkin orange of fall. I love the geography of crying seagulls and tolling buoys after hiking in the woods. And I love the cultural ideal of self-sufficiency and minding your own business coupled with tolerance and mutual aid. But very often, when I see the bloat and abuses of the six states and the scoundrels we elect to public office, I question whether my latter infatuation is nostalgia, a romantic pining for beliefs that certainly aren’t shared now, if they ever were.
Then I read stuff like this in Vermont:
When Irene washed out big chunks of Route 100 in Pittsfield, cutting this tiny town of about 425 people off, David Colton knew he couldn’t wait. At 9 a.m. the morning after the storm, Mr. Colton and about two dozen other Pittsfield residents revved up their bulldozers and backhoes and started carving their own way out. … [B]y Wednesday morning, the town had reconnected itself to Killington, eight miles to the south, where town volunteers in turn built some temporary roads of their own.
Outside Pittsfield’s town hall, a huge bulletin board is filled with 8 x 11 paper sign-up sheets. “I can offer power,” reads the top of one list, with several names below it. “I can offer medical supplies,” reads another.
“It’s been great—everyone has a different set of skills, and we’re all coming together,” said Patty Haskins, the town clerk, adding that if the volunteers hadn’t started digging, “we’d still be isolated.”