Under The Hat: Tilting at Windmills - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under The Hat: Tilting at Windmills

Because I was an English major in college, I had to read some obscure stuff.
Like the original manuscript for what was to later become Man of La Mancha, a Tony award winning play and later a movie.
It was about a nobleman who went mad dreaming of the days of knights, damsels and monsters and would become Don Quixote.
He would jump on his horse and head off to fight the giant.
Turns out he was only tilting at windmills.
His is the enduring image of a good fight misplaced; of a brave but ultimately useless and futile gesture.
 I can't help but think of that story watching the good people of Wesleyville in their quest to save the Post Office branch there, the branch which closes today.
The Postal Service marked the branch for extinction in a round of budget cuts, citing dwindling use and the growing ability of people to pay bills and communicate over the Internet.
"People just don't use the Post Office branches anymore," one spokesperson told us.
The neighbors answered by holding a series of moderately attended rallies and mailing letters of protest to President Obama and Pennsylvania's U.S. senators.
The letters were mailed on Thursday, though, leaving one to wonder if they would even arrive at their destinations in time to do any good.
Don't judge too harshly.
It seems clear to me that these folks are looking to preserve more than a post office.
They look to preserve a small town way of life.
Back to a time when a post office was the confluence of a town, a place where people would interact going in and out or stop to shoot the breeze and maybe sneak in a little talk of local politics.
Now our bills are paid by automated deductions.
We communicate from a distance by Tweet, 140 spaces or less please.
Did the neighbors in Wesleyville take on a mission they had no chance of winning?
Maybe.
But I understand the thinking that sometimes it's better to go tilting at windmills, rather than not getting in the fight at all.

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