What Makes a New Englander Unique ?
No, I’m not referring to a house style.
With Politics as radical as the weather and opinions as firmly rooted as the old maples in the stubborn granite soil…
New England is the oldest settled part of our nation. Vermont was the first state to officially join the Union. Our heritage goes way back here, back beyond the first settlers, to the traditions and blood lines of the Europeans and Native Americans. And more recently, immigrants from all parts of the globe have found a niche here.
Although New Englanders are pretty settled in their own ways as a rule, they tend to not pass judgment on others, adhering to a pretty strong code of ‘live and let live.’ A sense of ‘don’t mess with me and I won’t mess with you’ prevails. Personal liberty is held highly and taken very seriously.
New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live Free or Die.” You’ve got to feel sorry for the state prison inmates whose job it is to print those every day…
Neighbors may be relatively sociable standing on opposite sides of a pasture fence and discussing the weather or even at the annual grange hall potluck dinner, but they probably won’t go out of their way to visit. That is not to say they don’t look out for one another. For example,imagine one neighbor whose car has gone off the road in the winter and is spinning madly and futilely in a snow bank. Another neighbor approaches in his pickup truck, parks nearby, gets out, walks around to the front of the struggling car and adds his shoulder to the effort, releasing the car. Then he waves and gets back into his truck and drives away, not a word is exchanged.
A woman returns home after having a difficult surgery. Within hours, the porch is covered in various assorted casseroles. No note, no explanation. No surprise.
It’s Election Day and 2 men in their 60s who went to school together wait patiently for one of two voting booths to be available. “G’day Joe.”
“G’day Stan.” Slight nods. Silence. Typical. Economical. Frugal.