I started way ahead of time talking up town meeting so Robin would go with me. “I am not going. They don’t know me. They don’t care what I think. Besides, how can one vote make any difference?”
Well, I started to sulk and make comments: if you live in a town, you should participate in how it is run. You need to know how the money is being spent or rather how they want to spend it. This is democracy at its most important level: the people decide … that is, those who show up to vote.
Then I dragged in the river and dam proposals. You love this river. You fish it, we swim in it. You need to go listen to the reasons given for removing the dam in Coopers Mills. Then I tried the annoyed silent treatment and after awhile: “OK, I will go with you.”
We went to the school about 20 minutes early and were surprised to see so many cars. We went in and checked in with Sandy and the clerks and got our blue paper to wave in the air when we voted.
We got a good seat. Our neighbors, the Gradys, came in and sat behind us. We waited. At start time, there was still a long line signing in. There was nothing to do but wait, because every person present to vote has to be checked against the voter list. Anyway, it was worth waiting because it is good to have a large turnout.
I got up to take a photo to show you all our town meeting. Soon the moderator called for order. Then came a detailed explanation of how we would deal with the items on the warrant and how we would wave our blue papers to vote.
I was impressed as heck at how smoothly things went. Every question was answered, all had a chance to speak, then the moderator called for a vote. “All in favor, raise your cards.” The air turned blue as the whole group waved their papers in the air. We worked our way down the list with great efficiency, then: slam, bam, out with the dam!
Later that day at supper, Robin said: “Just so you know, I really enjoyed going to town meeting!”
I am amazed at how many Whitefield residents I don’t know. Need to get out more often.
I want all my readers to know that we would welcome you to celebrate the Holy Feast of the Resurrection: Easter Sunday with us at the big church here at the Monastery. Our service will be familiar to all Catholics, Episcopalians, and other liturgical churches. Come worship with us. We don’t care if you are Protestant either. We don’t care if you don’t know the words or when to sit and stand. You will fit in just fine. So don’t think you have nowhere to go for Easter Sunday. Come join us and maybe make some nice new friends into the bargain. 625 Head Tide Road, up over the big hill next to the town line. He is risen!
(Doug Wright lives over Head Tide Hill in Whitefield. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.)