Letter: Ellicott City's 'special strength' will help it through train tragedy

August 30, 2012

My family lived on Oella Avenue in Ellicott City for ten months, having been relocated for my husband's career, returning to California shortly after our second child was born.

We were saddened by the recent news of two young lives lost in the train derailment. But Ellicott City has a special strength of character that carries far.

Store owners befriended us the day we arrived, extended their hands, offering advice: what bug spray to use, where to shop, even comforting us in our first long distance move away from family. We were accepted instantly, and unceremoniously dubbed "Mr. California" and wife, a joshing we bore proudly as newbies to a town rich in history and American culture.

If any town can survive such a tragedy, it's Ellicott City, our home away from home. This town gave so much to my young family, in such a short time. I miss the river, the train rattling through town, but mostly the warmth of neighbors' generosity and support.

We offer prayers during this time of rebuilding, but know confidently that this family-centered community will thrive again. Lean on each other, just as you let us lean on you.

Paige Wiseman

Irvine, Cal.

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