I don’t normally write articles or share my opinions publicly but this issue has been on my heart for a long time.
Our son lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands and we visit him as often as we can. One of the most charming things about the Caribbean islands is their culture of cordialness. As you approach anyone on the street or enter a shop you will always receive a friendly greeting. “Good morning,” “good afternoon,” or “good evening” are the norm. In fact, absence of this exchange is considered extremely rude and instantly identifies you as “not from around here.”
My wife and I have lived in Laguna now for six years and have totally fallen in love with the charm of our town. But consider this: Laguna has Greeters Corner with Mike as our ad hoc greeter. He is a continuation of a long line of greeters beginning with Eiler Larsen, whose statue remains at greeter’s corner and another on Coast Highway at Legion. Laguna has had a history of greeting and friendliness wired into its DNA.
So here’s my thought. Why can’t Laguna be known as the friendliest town on earth? Why aren’t at least our residents polite, cordial and willing to exchange a greeting every single time we see one another? Honestly sometimes it feels more like New York when people look away or look down rather than acknowledge you even if you’re the only folks passing on the street or walking a dog in our own neighborhood.
So here’s what I’d like to suggest at least for those of us who call Laguna home. How about we just follow the island traditions right here? As you walk along the street a friendly “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “good evening” would be a wonderful acknowledgement of each other.
I think this will go a long way towards perpetuation the spirit of Laguna. Would you join with me in this?
Dave Arnold, Laguna Beach