Word-of-Mouth Walking

In this holiday essay, spelunker John Watts delivers an everyman’s take on Chesterton’s oft-noted adage: Places don’t become loved because they are great; they become great because they are loved. Does your town invite “word-of-mouth walking?”
December 23, 2012, 5am PST | Hazel Borys
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"I am always profoundly moved and impacted by those special strangers I’ve had the privilege to meet in the course of my travels who go out of their way to not only answer basic informational or directional questions with great kindness, but then take that extra step and leap of faith to evangelize and bring to life their town or city. They are promoters and boosters extraordinaire that combine warm interpersonal skills with a great contagious affection and pride for their local digs."

"So please indulge me as I devote some brief paragraphs ahead to acknowledge some very notable examples of such civic paragons of philanthropy from the past several years. These people stand out to me like lighthouses even if the names are missing. Therefore, this is decidedly not a travel log or a restaurant or B&B review—this is a prosaic tribute to some amazing people who dazzled me on far from home and remain in my memory long after the specific questions I asked have been forgotten."

John Watts is not a city planner, but instead tells some tales from his explorer/observer point of view about his experiences in Chicago, IL, Spokane, WA, and Baker City, OR. In his experiences, "kindred soulds of the road" pulled him deeper into the urbanism, and created some meaningful "word-of-mouth walking."

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Published on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 in PlaceShakers
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