Letter: See downtown through the eyes of a visitor

Posted

To the Editor:

I would like to describe a very exciting encounter that I had the other night talking with some tourists visiting Bennington. I was ushering for the play at Oldcastle, which they were attending. They asked me a few questions about Bennington, then commented on how nice and inviting they thought our downtown is. They were traveling from Maine and stopping at many small towns and visiting their downtowns.

They said that they were impressed with how lovely our downtown looked, and mentioned the variety of businesses that we have. They explained that many of the towns that they had visited had antique stores and not much else. Whereas, we talked about how we have different places to eat, shop for souvenirs, toys, handmade items, a newspaper, a theater, banks and churches which are actively community-minded, plus much more. We talked about the changes that the Putnam Project will bring for us and they said that they looked forward to returning.

So the next time someone from the Bennington area complains about our downtown or the people who work so hard to keep it alive, I say to them, "get out of town, go visit what's out there and then come back and be appreciative for what we have."

I also encourage you to shop, eat or sit for a spell in our downtown. Sure, you can maybe get an item cheaper online, but you may bump into a friend on the street, or encounter and welcome a tourist or even make a friend with one of our shop owners. So take the time ... you won't regret it.

Kate OKlein,

Bennington

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