I pointed out that the community leader at the very beginning of the clip was my high school English teacher, Dr. Halle.
Hasse Halle was an absolute pillar of our town. After retiring from the high school where she chaired the English department, she opened a community oriented bookstore in the village that sold local authors and books about New England history and heritage. Whenever I went home I'd go into the shop and usually find her behind the counter, talking with another one of my English teachers, Joyce Roof. Together they'd faun over me, and ask me about my writing, and ask about my sister's music career. They both seemed so proud every time my friends and I came back home.
For my best friend So, formerly Sophia, who has wrestled her whole life with gender and identity issues, issues that so many small towns do not have the tolerance to deal with, Dr.Halle provided encouragement and understanding. Our town was different. We didn't even know how lucky we were, growing up in a place defined by the supportive, open-minded adults around us.
At the end of the news clip, Dr. Halle says these words to the whole community gathered on the green: "The worst is behind us, and the best is in front of us, because we have each other."
Dr. Halle loved our town. Our town which is so special, our town that we all need so much.
On Saturday, she was hit and killed by a truck while walking on the Rt. 4 bridge.
I think things change too quickly. You just can't hold on tight enough.