Dear Norwich


Shawn Magrath

Today’s been one of those days where I’ve struggled to think of something to write. Most would refer to it as “writer’s block.” Unfortunately, if your job depends on the ability to write, it’s not as simple as just writer’s block. It means a real lack of productivity – something I’m fervently against. A reporter with writer’s block is the equivalent of a runner with a broken leg, a seeing-eye dog with cataracts, an EMT who misplaced the keys to the ambulance…

Certainly there’s plenty to write about: Round three of a very unpopular murder trial; a Father’s Day weekend full of (almost too many) things to do in the area; the chance of a large abandoned city property being spruced up downtown; businesses coming and going throughout the county; and my favorite local-ish story of the week, an SUV that narrowly fit through the doors of the Wegman’s in Johnson City and parked somewhere in the produce section – no one was hurt.

Of course there are things to write. How about a letter, just to change it up a little? Maybe a letter to Norwich; home sweet home, the place where I lay my head. The place I can’t wait to get out of, then can’t wait to return to when I’m gone:

Dear Norwich,

What’s happening to you Norwich? You use to have pride, self-esteem, be full of prosperity and you knew what it meant to take initiative and put effort into everything you do. Now, it seems that you spend to much time looking for a fast fix to complicated issues, quick to blame but slow to react. All too often, it seems you’ve lost your sense of decency; civility has little meaning. Even in a casual conversation outside the local convenience stores, you’ve adopted the “F-bomb” as part of your vernacular, using it as an adjective, verb, noun, pronoun, interjection – and I don’t think it’s intended to be a grammar lesson for the kids around you who are listening and, rest assured, learning.

Norwich, I don’t want to feel like I’m interrupting a pajama party everywhere I go. I agree, pajama bottoms are the epitome of comfort but when you’re out and about, would it kill you to put on pants? And maybe – even if it’s only faked – being a little more polite, or perhaps showing a little enthusiasm when you walk? I say put a little pep in your step, a little pride in your stride, instead of scuffing your feet like wounded livestock.

Really, why can’t you just pick up your feet?

Don’t get me wrong, Norwich. There’s still plenty to love about you and the good far outweighs the bad. You’re family oriented (for the most part), you’re beautiful, you put on some great shows throughout the year, you’re humble (again, for the most part); I’d like to think we have a pretty good relationship Norwich, and maybe I’m being a little hasty in pointing out some of your flaws. After all, nobody’s perfect.

I’m not asking too much, am I?

Sincerely,
Shawn