A Small, but Noticed, Touch

by Jay Nordlinger

It has been pleasant to receive some mail on Maine (which stems from a “Maine Journal” that I have begun on the homepage today). The mail has three basic themes: the physical beauty of Maine; the formidable social problems facing the state; and the friendliness of the people.

I’d like to excerpt one letter, whose theme is the third one — friendliness. The letter comes from a reader in Israel who grew up in suburban New York and attended Colby College, in Waterville, Maine:

Driving up from New York, we used to hit a tollbooth shortly after crossing the border from New Hampshire. And whenever I’d pay the toll attendant, the attendant would say hello, ask how you were, etc. I’d always say, “I love my ‘welcomes’ to Maine. Only in Maine are the tollbooth attendants this friendly!”

Afterward, when I went to law school in D.C. and drove down from New York, I missed the Maine attendants, since the ones on the New Jersey Turnpike and onward were not the friendliest!

I welcome any and all defenses of New Jersey.

P.S. I, too, enjoyed my encounters with Maine tollbooth attendants on a recent trip. It was a pleasure to fork over the money, which wasn’t all that much anyway.

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