Ya gotta love it — our Rutland community.

Just back from a long trip driving across the country, we passed through many little towns with row upon row of empty storefronts. We had heard of the “Black Lives Matter” flag installed at Rutland High School while on the road, and were proud to know our community had done the right thing.

And then, over the last three weeks, we were bombarded with the following: Wonderfeet Lip Sync night at the Paramount — 700 folks enjoying the amazing acts put on by seven community groups; followed by the twin attractions of Rutland Youth Theater’s steampunk "Alice in Wonderland" — 65 area kids did a professional job with the best dancing of the year.

Then, a bunch of local celebrities at the library’s Murder by the Book killed off director Randal Smathers with food and fun and poisoned teapots. At the same time, there was the amazing art at Gallery 77, where Bill Ramage had assembled two floors of work by artists over 70. On another day, scores of folks dressed in red walked to raise money for Her Story House. At the courthouse, local lawyers dressed as Avengers characters and educated school kids about how a trial works.

Then, this week, a free showing of the award-winning film “Glory” on Wednesday will usher in the unveiling of the newest Steve Costello sculpture about the 20 black Vermonters who served in that Civil War regiment. It’s another fitting reminder of our history and how black lives have always mattered.

And our community? What does it show? That we live in a place that is creative, collaborative, generous and fun. Ya gotta love it.

Jennifer Bagley

Mendon

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