standing Letters

Rona Mann has to be one of the greatest treasures ever to grace The Westerly Sun in its entire history. Every Sunday we are treated to serious thought, delightful reminiscences, welcome laughter, or some combination of any or all of the above. This morning, I actually laughed out loud several times as I identified, exactly, with her analysis of the situation presented. In fact, I discovered, just this past Friday, that I have become so attuned to Rona’s columns that I actually said, aloud, “I think I’m having a Rona Mann moment. I wonder what Rona would do with this.”

I was having lunch at my favorite Italian/Greek restaurant on Stonington Road when I suddenly realized that I really have reached the point of being ancient. I looked around and actually counted 10 men who did not even care enough or have the good manners to remove their hats in the dining room. Hats included baseball caps, ski hats, and some sort of black fur head covering. At least two, and very possibly three, of the hat-wearers were older than my advanced age, so I absolutely know that they were taught better manners decades ago. Four gentlemen did remove their hats as they entered the dining room and two came in hatless.

Why did this bother me so much? Are hats the most important things in life? Of course not. Compared to finding a cure for cancer, obliterating poverty, or digging our country out of the hateful attitudes that have prevailed during the past few years, hats and good manners are quite far down on the list. Still, the niceties, the respect, the holding of doors, the removing of hats, the taking time to smile, and so many things from the past should not remain in the past.

What would Rona think? What would Emily Post or Pearl Mesta think if they were still around? I don’t really know, but in any case, let’s not lose all remembrance of the fact that manners do count.

As far as Rona is concerned, I hope that The Westerly Sun can find a way to hold onto Rona Mann forever!

Mary Richardson


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