Stunned by the Ray of Light in the Shadows
Rhode Island, where the unbidden friendliness of a stranger is front page news:
… neither motorists nor pedestrians could ignore the man in the pale blue shirt and bright white sneakers yesterday morning standing between the Providence Biltmore and The Westin Providence hotels.
Why, he wasn’t asking for a thing; their befuddled faces finally began to register with the slimmest of smiles.
He was offering something.
“Good morning!” exclaimed Thad Davis to everyone around him. …
“I had heard that people in Maine were friendly but real quiet with a dry sense of humor and that people from Boston, well I went to school with a couple kids from Boston and I think there’s a certain arrogance with people from Boston.”
Davis had heard little about those from the littlest state, but during his walk Thursday through downtown and Providence Place mall he came away thinking Rhode Islanders were, well, kind of glum.
“I wouldn’t say they’re friendly but they’re civil.”
I’d have used “dour,” rather than “glum,” but the sad thing is that Rhode Island’s treatment of outsiders deteriorates the longer they intend on staying. At least it seems that way sometimes.