Wednesday, July 18, 2007

dear pictorial

To the Editor of the Pictorial Gazette:

I am concerned about the lack of sidewalks in Deep River and Essex.

I just returned from a 500 mile walk across Spain along a path called the Camino de Santiago. It wends through various small villages and large towns, but it rarely requires walkers to venture onto dangerous roads unprotected. I felt very safe. Having returned to visit my family in my hometown of Essex, I am appalled at how difficult it is to walk here. After spending 6 weeks walking every day, even I am hesitant to risk clinging to the sides of the roads as cars whiz by.

While I was walking with people from across the globe (Spain, Germany, England, Ireland, Canada, France, Italy, Korea, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Mexico, South Africa, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Luxembourg, and more) they regularly asked me whether it was true that America does not value walking.

I told them about the lovely New England coastline where I grew up. I admitted that my young nephews, who live in the prosperous small community of Deep River, Connecticut, are unable to step off their property--onto any of the four major roads that intersect near their house--without being threatened by automobiles. I explained that my sisters love to walk, but they have to get into a car in order to get to a place where they can walk safely.

I was able to boast to my fellow walkers that my two little nieces are required to walk to their elementary school, but then I had to shamefully admit that the wealthy town of Essex, Connecticut, which was once named "The Best Small Town in America," will not spend the money to construct a sidewalk so that they can travel the .2 miles from their house.

I had to tell people around the world that while Americans might like to walk, America--at least the beautiful villages where I grew up--does not value walking.

Arlington, Virginia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is wends a word or a typo? thank goodness for that asterix (et obelix) about the smores. i was beginning to think you really lost it... it being your sanity because you shouldn't be allowed to breathe any more if you don't like smores. wend i was younger i liked smores. now i love thm