A COUPLE OF WEEKS ago, someone tried to muddy the fine people of my hometown by harassing a group of workers from a well-regarded local landscaping company.
The team was planting trees in front of a downtown restaurant here when this individual, a Massachusetts resident, interrupted and scolded the workers for speaking in Spanish.
The person continued to harangue the group, asking if they were illegals and emphasizing that they’re in America and should be speaking English. The individual live-streamed the incident on Facebook and was subsequently booted from their radio show, which was broadcast from Nashua.
There’s no need to name the person who has since blasted the Gate City for being a communist town, and so forth. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and we’ve heard enough.
I do wish this individual could see that Nashua is a decent and forward-thinking community with a proud history that spans decades in welcoming people of various ethnicities and races.
We’re not a perfect city, but we’re a friendly place for connecting with others and setting down roots.
I grew up in a small Greek community surrounded by French-Canadian friends whose relatives had come from Canada to labor in our textile mills long ago. They and those of other heritages helped shape our economic integrity and the city we all love today.
Most people seemed to get along in Nashua, or maybe it just appeared that way back then.
And how about Nashua electing Latha Mangipudi to the State House in 2013? She appears to be the first state representative from India to ever serve in that position. Mangipudi also held a seat on our city school board.
A trip to historic Holman Stadium paints a similar story. It was here that Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella broke the U.S. baseball color barrier by playing in the first racially integrated team, the 1946 Nashua Dodgers.
The late Newcombe had only kind words for the Gate City in a 2006 interview on the L.A. Dodgers website. The interview was conducted by BJ Neverett, the former manager of the Nashua Silver Knights baseball team.
“Nashua, in my memory, is one of the finest cities that I’ve been to in my lifetime. I say that because of the people and the way Roy Campanella and I were accepted there in 1946 when we had nowhere else to play in the entire Dodgers organization as black men,” Newcombe said.
“The city of Nashua and all of its people, including the president of the league, accepted us as if we were one of their own sons, and I will forever be grateful to all of those people.”
Our city continues to grow and learn and has a lot to be proud of.
Joan Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.