West Hartford – No Place Makes Me Madder or Happier

West Hartford is like a child who you sometimes get mad at, but always love unquestionably.

A friend on Facebook wrote about his 7-year old daughter on her birthday (among other things), "Nobody makes me madder or happier." I could say the same thing about West Hartford (and my six-year old).

I've only lived here 16 years or so but I love this town; yet it can make me mad at times. Certain parts consider themselves superior to Elmwood and the 06110 zip code. (One person told me when I was first editor of the WH News that West Hartford is really only north of Farmington Avenue.) That makes me kind of mad. Not crotchety, finger pointing mad, but still kind of mad.

But then I walk my daughter to school every day at and nothing could make me happier. Charter Oak is a rich, diverse student population with an excellent faculty that represents the best West Hartford has to offer. It amazes me that more people from West Hartford don't send their children here.

What's not to like? Small class sizes. Excellent services. Gifted children are allowed to excel and those that need help get it. Plus, it's now an International Baccalaureate School after a couple of years of hard work. Yet, people are unwilling to send their kids to our school.

Also, people speed through our neighborhood, illegal parking abounds on weekends during football and soccer games, and two of my neighbors have had their homes broken into during the 8 years I have lived here. That makes me mad. Yet, we have a great police department and our neighborhood has relatively low crime as does our entire town. That makes me happy.

The streets around Charter Oak weren't plowed well this winter after the colossal snowfalls. Things got ugly one afternoon during a school pickup and the comments turned racial. That made me mad. Somebody suggested contacting public works director John Phillips. So, I did on a Friday morning. By Monday morning at 5:30, public works crews were clearing the snow along Sidney Avenue (the north side of Charter Oak), so once again the street would be safe to drop off students.

I'm sure it made some of my neighbors mad to hear the beep-beep-beep of dump trucks and backhoes removing snow that early, but it mad me happy to see the quick response from the town.

So, West Hartford, no town I have lived in has made me madder or happier but just like a father with his children, I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Jeff Murray May 05, 2011 at 09:30 PM
I think that is what makes West Hartford such a unique town: the fact that it has many different "regions" within itself. Elmwood, Buena Vista, the Center, etc, every place seems to have something good to offer. At the same time, as with many other places, you take the good with the bad and continue living. Great post! Jeff
Keith Griffin May 06, 2011 at 12:59 AM
Jeff - That's a great observation. I hadn't thought of it that way, which just makes me mad. Only kidding. Thanks for the post. Keith
Joy May 08, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Okay Andy Rooney, how do you really feel? Actually, I have to agree with you, I grew up in W.H. (in 06119 and 06107) had my first home in Elmwood (o6110) and am very thankful that I was able to sample the great variety and diversity of the neighborhoods. I will always consider it "home." Joy
Dennis Swanton May 10, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Keith, I feel the same way as you do, but for different reasons. I have lived here for almost 10 years. Ever since I have lived in this town the speeding, blowing through stop signs, traffic lights and driving distracted gets worse and worse. The Police Chief burries his head in the sand, the town planners do not want to do anything and the town board wants to help, but even they can't help. What are they waiting for a child to be killed. Dennis


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