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May 25, 2016


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As a former resident of Maryland, I think you paint too broad a brush. I drive across Western MD on my way to the Eastern Shore of MD each year to see family. I can feel the change in drivers after Frederick and it lasts until Annapolis. MD is regionally diverse. My segment of MD has been trying to secede from the state for over a hundred years (or join Delaware) and as recently as this decade. The entire Eastern Shore is more like the Outer Banks than any part of MD. The West is more Pennsylvania.

As a kid I rode my bicycle across several Highways to school as the drivers were so courteous. There is a negative element in the middle of the state (Baltimorons) their bad behavior extends beyond the road. I witnessed it every season when they descended on Ocean City or Smith Island (to hear the natives thick Cornish-like accents).

The efforts to drop the state song have grown which you would assume given the veto proof Democratic majority in the General Assembly for decades.

BTW my greatgreatgrandfather was a Union soldier. When I spoke to my grandmother about him, she'd mention that he'd tell her to watch for people from the other side of the Bay when you walked beside Ocean City Road, because they'd run you over just as quick as look at you.

These lines from the state song nicely encapsulate your encounter, I warrant:

For life and death, for woe and weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel,
If you are willing to describe sitting in an airconditioned bolt-bucket as "girding thy... limbs with steel."

Since by now I've adapted to a Greater Boston style of driving, I have to consciously remind myself to be less aggressive when I'm somewhere else. The contrast with Virginia is large.

With regard to pedestrians, my experience in the Boston area is that the pedestrians are crazy, especially in areas with a lot of foot traffic like Harvard Square. They reserve the right to dart out into the street or stroll down the middle of a traffic lane at any time under any conditions, without looking.

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