To the Editor

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Since moving to our river-front community of Calais this past July, I’ve always experienced a ready welcome (and a lot of bewilderment --”Why, Calais, Maine?”!) from not only our residents and my co-workers, but from many of our local businesses as well.  When we received our first - light - snow fall during the first of this month; I quickly realized that my “joyride” from Maryland was going to get stuck on a daily basis up here in Downeast Maine.  I also realized that we in Calais are fortunate enough to have a local business that could help me with my problem.

Sliding down Main Street in a Chevy (and cracking a tire-rim to boot!); I did my best to climb up the hill going towards Machias then sliding back down again with a spare tire on which did not sound like it was going to make it very far indeed; and then made my way down to our local dealership of Pratt’s Chevrolet/Buick.

Thanks to the work of my salesman, Michael Craig, all of the staff at Pratt’s, and even the owner himself -- I now can drive during all four seasons in Maine!  Sledding is fun -- just not in a Chevy!  I can’t recommend our local dealership enough, and I again express my deepest satisfaction with my purchase and the service I received.

Erik J. Mangini

Letter to Editor:
 
Watching the celebrations following the passing of Nelson Mandela, I was reminded of another time when there had been an outpouring of gratitude and affection.
 
In the 1970s, for a few months, I had been chairman of the board of a sheltered workshop just outside Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. We had a bookbindery in there. One day, the wife of a late governor-general of Canada came to visit. She and her son Jean were great patrons of L’Arche (the bridge) in France, a whole town devoted to making life for the mentally challenged meaningful. The life work of the Vaniérs - for that was the family name - was widely known and praised and appreciated by those who had discovered in themselves fulfillment which otherwise would have been missed. When Madame Vaniér showed up, the bookbindery was abandoned, and everybody ran across the lawn and embraced this warm and wonderful lady faces full of the gratitude and joy we saw last week on faces in Soweto (Southwest Township).
 
People can be grateful. And perhaps the people who are oppressed or otherwise challenged are the very people who can show how.

Ron Cuddy
 
To The Editor:
 
An early quote from George Washington to the people of his day and ours:
“The people must remain ever vigilant against tyrants masquerading as public servants.”
Thank you, President Washington!
 
J. Kelly