Letter: Wilton is great when you get to know us

To the Editors:

(The following is in response to a letter which appeared in The Bulletin on July 6, 2017.)

Thank you for your letter to my family and friends here in Wilton. Upon reading it, we all had different reactions. Some said, “Wow, what a witch.” Others said, “Wow, that’s sad.” Either way, we are all very sorry those have been your experiences. How wonderful your hometown of Lincoln University must be. A college town with no cell phones, where everyone is always in a good mood? Sweet! A real-life Pleasantville. If you think WE’RE bad, good thing you haven't yet wandered into New Canaan or, gasp, Darien! I’m kidding. Not really. OK, I’m kidding.

Understandably, you’re upset that your daughter has moved away, and that you now have to drive several hours to visit your granddaughter. That might put me in a sour mood, too. But, instead of being upset and allow it cloud my every visit, I might step back and ask myself, “I wonder why she chose this town? Let me try to learn why.”

First, I'd like to apologize on behalf of the boutique in which you were not greeted. I agree, that's not cool. However, I hope you won’t let a couple poor experiences solidify your overall opinion of our town. In fact, I’d encourage you to patronize, for example, Wilton Hardware or Scoops. I'm sure you will be greeted with a smile, perhaps by one of the many friendly Wilton High School students they employ, all of whom are products of our National Blue Ribbon award-winning school system — the same school which you sadly hoped your granddaughter never attends.

Had you done your grocery shopping at our Village Market, you wouldn’t have had to return your own cart. One of their student-employees would have walked you out, unloaded your cart, and returned it for you, with a smile and a thank you.

Has your daughter told you about our town’s ABC program? Volunteers with commitments big and small work together on behalf of 16 high school boys and girls, giving them A Better Chance at a quality education their own inner-city communities could not provide.

Has your daughter taken you to any of our several churches? Just this past Sunday, 100-plus Wilton Congregational and St. Matthew’s volunteers made 2,000 bagged lunches for underprivileged kids’ summer programs in our county. Among those volunteers was my neighbor, one of our awesome kindergarten teachers at our newly renovated Miller-Driscoll School, who might have the privilege of teaching your granddaughter someday soon.

However, there are all kinds of people in the world, and several ways to look at things. Your hometown’s own namesake, President Lincoln, agreed: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

You can find the good in any situation, just as easily as you can find the bad. God knows none of us is perfect. No one has ever accused me of being normal, but I choose to see the positive things in life, and I sometimes choose to take a moment to put myself in other people’s shoes: An unfriendly employee? Perhaps they just had an upset customer on the phone, or maybe she just learned her daughter is moving away. Distracted driver almost runs me down? Maybe she's bragging to her mom about that cute granddaughter's latest accomplishment.

On your next trip to Wilton, I'd like to invite you for a walk on our beautiful NRVT loop (built thanks to generous donors and maintained by passionate volunteers) and then invite your family to join mine at the Luncheonette, where Katina will treat you like you've been friends for years. I promise she'll remember your granddaughter’s name, and will greet you with a smile when you come back.

I hope your daughter and family choose to stay in Wilton, and I hope you’ll look me up next time you're in town.

David Cote

Oak Ledge Lane, July 11