Back in July I blogged about a street sign in my neighborhood that had a spelling mistake. The word "Sight" was spelled incorrectly.
This sign is on the street on which I live but over the border in Essex, the town next door. So I wrote a letter (an email) to a select board member that I found on the Essex town web site, someone named Pat Scheidel, to see if I could get it fixed. The skeptic that I am, I did not expect anything from this. I didn't heard back from Pat so it was surprising when I drove by this sign today and saw this:
In little over a month it was fixed. At this point, I cannot think of a better, happier place for a hyper-vigilant person like myself to be living than in Vermont.
I come at this from a fairly jaded point of view. I have lived in only two other states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. You could say that getting anything done from the government in those other two places was significantly more difficult. I lived in the Boston area for ten years. Once when I lived in Brighton, I discovered that there was a mailbox that wasn't getting picked up. It was full. I called my local branch to tell them and they informed not to use that mailbox, it is a "dead box." But my payment to my credit cards are in this mailbox? Aren't you going to deliver the contents of this mailbox? Of course not, it is a dead box. I had to pay late fees, write new checks and cancel the old ones. This was a time in my life that I didn't have a lot of money. Very frustrating! That box was full for some time. Was it too much to ask for them to put a sign on the box or remove it?
I cannot imagine something like this happening in Vermont or if it had, someone would have fixed it and/or apologized for it. Vermont is where apathy comes to die. A few years ago, in Monkton Vermont, my wife and I went off the road into a ditch. We were okay, just stuck. Every car (or at least 90% of them) stopped to check to see if we were okay. You could say I fell in love with Vermont that day, this happened just a few years after being on the T in Boston while having an attack of vertigo and not one person would give me a seat when I asked them. Most of them wouldn't even acknowledge I was talking to them even after I got quite loud.
A friend was visiting Vermont a few years ago and heard me gushing. She asked if there was something that I didn't like about living here. To be fair, I had no problem coming up with this one. It is something plagues every small community. I said people tended to be provincial here. I have heard a number of times that you are not a "true Vermonter" unless your family has been here for three generations. So be it that I am not a true Vermonter. It is my home and I love it however some of the locals want to treat me. Anonymity is something that I miss about being in a big city. Every few days, my town's email forum gets sent to my yahoo account. It is usually a pleasure to read about a neighbor who has a goat for sale or about sightings of black bears and such. But all too often there is an email about "suspicious" activity that just doesn't sound very suspicious to me. Someone stopped their car on the road and walked up and down staring into the woods. This doesn't seem suspicious to me, just someone being human. Unexplained activity doesn't equal suspicious activity in the big city. Anonymity can be quite liberating. It makes me wonder when I pulled over to take a picture of these streets signs if there was someone watching thinking I was acting "suspiciously." I guess you have to take the good with the bad.