This past Tuesday I was hurrying to take a picture of the art class being held by local artist and teacher extraordinaire, Tamara Isfeld, before the kids were done with the spray painting of a bike rack adjacent to the K.K. Berge building.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the best driver, and as I put on my blinker and pulled a u-turn in front of Carl’s Bakery so to pull a into parking space on the other side of the street, a fella behind me in an orange truck called me on my lawlessness. “You’re not from around here, are you??You’re lucky we don’t hang you,” he said.
It might have made me blush had he said it in jest, but there was nothing light about the tone. As for, “not being from around here,” I know six years in town still makes me a newbie in these parts––but I also thought everybody around here pulled u-turns on Prentice St...
The point I want to make is that had I actually not been from around here this man’s comment would sure as hell not have made me want be from around here. A community of people who treat one another, much less outsiders, in such a fashion is not something I would want to be a part of.
As it is, I am “from around here,” and I do know the people of this community are much better than that. One of the reasons I am still here is that other community members locally and of the Upper Minnesota River Valley reached out and made me feel welcome. Had I?met such a greeting earlier on, maybe things would’ve been different.
In what I believe to be in the interest of all us, it may be beneficial to keep in mind what sort of community we do want to project to potential residents, patrons, visitors, etc. And as for my friend in the orange truck, I’ll see what I?can do about improving my driving.