Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It Takes All Kinds of People

Welcome to Wellfleet, population almost 3000. Yesterday I wrote about non-residents who care deeply about this special place. Non-residents currently own 72% of the homes, an enormous percentage that makes it easier to understand why the town is almost deserted in the off-season. Let’s turn to the other 28%. There are retirees, of course, and “the locals.” Sven fits into the retiree category, since he’s a former history professor. I’m afraid I only qualify as a local, although there’s something slightly pejorative about the term, which is a shame. Being “local” should be seen as a positive. Wellfleetians also love their town and worry their children will not be able to afford to live here. It takes all kinds of people to create a vibrant community. At last night’s Forum meeting, over eighty citizens met to review the warrant for the upcoming Special Town Meeting. (A quick look around the room does reveal a large number of retirees indeed!) The evening began with presentation to the Housing Authority of a check whose purpose was helping out fellow citizens in need of rental assistance in this difficult economy. The money was raised at last month’s Toast of the Town talent show at W.H.A.T. For those of you who don’t know, the main professions are tourism, shellfishing, and the service trades, with the arts probably coming in fourth. S.P.A.T (Shellfish Promotion and Tasting) organizes Oysterfest, which promotes aquaculture. Wellfleet has young men and women working to preserve the reputation of the Wellfleet oyster and thinking outside the box. The ones I know personally are Alex Hay, of Mac’s Seafood, and Barbara Austin, both locals, both mentioned in a great article, written by Kate Frazer for the fall issue of The Nature Conservancy. Check it out here.