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On the other hand, there’s St. Paul …

The people of Minnesota are unfailingly polite. They are a good sort. It is their nature. 

They’ll cheerily wave cars (me) into a waiting line of traffic. When they smile and say ‘hello’ to strangers (me) they seem to mean it. You can’t but smile in return. 

And by all appearances the civic pride here in St. Paul extends to the cleanliness/neatness of their streets and avenues. This morning’s observation is based on a small sampling size: a 30 minute stroll along Goodrich, Fairview and Grand Avenues. 


It is comparatively – compared to Monday’s walk through Chicago’s Ukrainian Village – clean and tidy. Sure, there are some things laying about but nowhere near the volume that was seen in the Windy City. I’ve walked through enough of St. Paul to know it is a clean and prideful town as a general rule. (I’m certain, though, it has its messier areas.) As the photos show, they value their resources and make recycling a priority and practice. 

Minnesota gets a bad rap on its frigid winters and perhaps deservedly so but when it comes to Year-round cleanliness, these hardy folk earn an A-.  

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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