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LETTER: A plea for respect from our summer visitors


Ok, maybe its because it’s hot out there. NO! Its because I’m fed up that I write this.

I just got back from the grocery store where I usually go each week and after winding through aisles on a scooter, between people who refuse to move, I finally got my shopping finished and headed to the checkout. It was there that one cashier, who had been smiling and being pleasant to the people ahead of me, bent down and asked, “Why do they feel they have the right to be so damn rude?!”

Well, we got talking. (Most people here in town know our store workers and are friendly with them.) She said she was almost hit by a speeding car while trying to leave the parking lot after work. To top that off, the speeder was swearing at her as he passed.

I told her I almost got run down at the stop sign outside the store, trying to walk in from the parking lot. You see, I have multiple sclerosis and a number of other problems and, well, walking is hard for me. I can walk a few feet and I realize I’m slow, but to get to a store for a change of scenery is my only outing. So being attacked by a bright shiny SUV with out-of-state plates on it does not make my day.

Not long ago, while trying to cross High Street in a cross walk to go to the YMCA, I came within inches of being hit on my scooter. Not moving fast enough for some out-of-state beachgoer, I guess...but let me tell you, when that car swerved around me, as I had just moved from the center of the street, my heart was beating pretty hard, so I do hope that driver had a lovely time on one of our beaches.

I have friends here who hate summer because of the rudeness and the way we are treated by out-of-state vacationers headed for the beach. It’s as though they think we owe them whatever they want...even our lives I guess.

Our stores and shops need our tourist people to keep going. The people here are all aware of that. And these people are hard working people trying to support families. So while you’re here to enjoy your summer, our people are here working so you can have that summer. And our handicapped and elderly are accustomed to the respect our locals show them.

So, if you want to come to our town and enjoy our cooling beaches, don’t forget to bring some manners along with you! Be respectful of the local people who work here and our seniors and elderly who, yes, walk a little slowly. Leave your ignorance at home and if that’s impossible, then stay home and sweat! It will give us more room to enjoy our own beaches!

Judith A. Sellins

Westerly



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