Letter: Are roads just roads? Tiverton's tell tales

Posted 7/25/19

To the editor:

Born the son of a professional diplomat, I moved with my parents to the United States ( Washington, D.C.) in Nov. 1953.  My father’s work trips from D.C. took him to every corner …

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Letter: Are roads just roads? Tiverton's tell tales

Posted

To the editor:

Born the son of a professional diplomat, I moved with my parents to the United States ( Washington, D.C.) in Nov. 1953.  My father’s work trips from D.C. took him to every corner of the planet.  Often he would require a helicopter or seaplane to get to his destinations because the roads were so poor, or they simply did not exist. 

He was educated in Paris, but living in that city of sophistication would not guarantee that he could avoid sipping filtered water in Uganda.  Every two years we vacationed in our homeland in the Middle East, but my father’s favorite vacations were driving vacations from D.C. to Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and upstate New York. 

He was an economist, and professionally was always trying to sense whether a country, or region of a country was doing well or was on the route to trouble.  Why he liked driving vacations in the U.S. was because it gave him a well-deserved break from his work.  “

Babak, you can tell almost everything about a country and its people by just looking at the roads and the bridges,” he often repeated. “Not just the main roads, but all the roads.  And here, in the United States, wherever I turn, the roads and the bridges are smooth and strong.  When a nation cares about commerce and its people through investment in roads, the people will then care about each other and the nation.  It always works this way.”

We become what we make of ourselves.  Were my late father to magically reappear next to me as I drive down Souza Road in Tiverton (for example), I know that he would worry about why I chose to leave the U.S. and live in a underdeveloped country. 

Babak Khosropur

Tiverton

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