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Loving me some St. Paul …

St. Paul, Minnesota has been on the receiving end of my plaudits for its general cleanliness, and nearly six days here hasn’t dampened much of the reason for such lavish praise. 

This is based on first hand accounts on my long walks through the city, usually along Grand Avenue and neighborhood streets over the past six days. Yes, there is some trash (flattened plastic bottles and paper here and there) but the volume is relatively sparse vs. what I see elsewhere. (I write this while idling at the wonderful Minneapolis – St. Paul airport.)

This cleanliness owes to, I think, the innate good spirit of Minnesotans. There is apparent great pride in their state; it is largely progressive and forward-thinking and the environment seems of great importance to the people. Hence their relatively clean streets and sidewalks. There are recycle containers and bins on many street corners. 

This is where I turn highly subjective. If I’d taken a bag with me as I do in Charlotte, my sense is it would have taken me far longer to fill it with litter than it takes at home. This is, admittedly, a mild knock on North Carolina. But I’ve been in both states for long stretches and have more than enough eyeball evidence to draw conclusions. The proof of the pudding will be when I reach home later today and take my obligatory walk. We will see if my conclusion – based on accumulated trash in my absence – of MN vs. NC is warranted. 

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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