Virus aside, this summer’s no different, really — N.E.’s locals are just unwelcoming

The view of a country road on April 4 in Bristol, N.H.
The view of a country road on April 4 in Bristol, N.H.John Tully/NYT

Re “From road trip to guilt trip: no vacation from virus” by Christopher Muther (Page A1, Sept. 6): In the 1980s, my wife and I bought an old farmhouse in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire. Our immediate neighbor could not have been more welcoming, but most of the others were standoffish. One of the few times we got to congregate with the locals was on Labor Day, when we were told that there was a ritual gathering of those living close to the I-95 overpass, many bringing cocktails, in order to bid farewell to vacationers. They would wave with derision to the stream of traffic heading down from Maine on its way south. Some would bring signs with messages like, “Thanks for spending your money, don’t come back too soon.”

The pandemic of 2020 has given these suspicious natives that much more to be “concerned” about, so no one should be surprised by their unwelcoming behavior. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised.


Michel L. Spitzer

Jamaica Plain