This is in response to Ron Ferri’s letter titled “Small-town Maine.”
Dear Mr. Ferri:
You sound like you don’t have any respect for, or even like, Maine’s residents.
You slap us down: 1) too proud, 2) against change and 3) we use tourists, and then in a backhanded way say, oh, but Mainers are 4) warm and 5) friendly
We who are from Maine like Maine the way it is and are sorely tired of those “from away” who come here for the beauty and the slower pace of life … and then want to change everything to the way their “away” is, because they miss it. Maybe you should return to your “away” for a visit to remember why you moved to Maine in the first place.
Mainers are proud of where we come from. Sometimes we are against change, but maybe that change is not in Maine’s best interest. And sometimes the old adage “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” works.
And tourists do come here — for the state’s beauty, and the warmth and friendliness of those of us who are not from away.
My sister-in-law lives in a big city. She loves coming to Maine because she can talk to most anyone she comes in contact with, something she would never dream of doing in the city, for her own safety. She loves being outside at night to see the stars, something she can’t do at home because of all the lights. And she never leaves Maine before she can go into Marden’s to see what treasures await her. She loves the friendliness and peacefulness of Maine. She finds it restorative, but acknowledges that she has too much city in her blood and must return to her “away.”
Mainers, in turn, are tourists in “away” places. We help their economy, we enjoy and even appreciate the differences and then we come home to our way of life.
My husband and I have traveled to many places. We were and are respectful of their differences, whether another state or another country, and do our best to abide by their customs. We always have fun trying their language, and indeed, one of my best memories is having a conversation with a wonderful shopkeeper in Okinawa. We all wanted to practice each other’s language, she with broken English and us with very broken Japanese. We all had fun and thanked each other for the practice. We also try local foods and activities — in the local way, without trying to change it.
Please respect that we are from here. This is our home, and we do not appreciate being sneered at just because you grew up in a different setting. You always have the right to pack up and move back to your “away” if you miss it.