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CAROL KEUHL: The song I have written illustrates the fact that people have come from all different walks of life and from many lands to make our state as great as it is.

"Connecticut Patrol" by Carol Keuhl

I love Connecticut with its heritage,

It's called the Constitution State.

Where histories of great proud men all came to this land so brave.

And then with grace-filled cities did build where our dreams would be fulfilled.

Connecticut was born to stay the pride of the U.S.A.

So come Nutmeggers heed the call to keep Connecticut from harm,

A place where men with hearts free can share the opportunity.

Let's keep her strong and work each day so future men will proudly say,

Connecticut was born to stay the pride of the U.S.A.


NARRATOR: Another force that fractures our sense of state identity is 

geographic segmentation. Although Connecticut is the third smallest state in the nation, most of us see it as a collection of several smaller and distinctly different regions.

TOM LEWIS (Geography Prof., Manchester CC): In spite of the fact that the state is roughly a hundred miles east to west, 60 to 80 miles at its widest north/south extreme, the concerns and the interests and the focus of dairy farmers in the northeastern part of the state in a town like Thompson are far, far different than the concerns and the interests and the focus of an urban/suburban population like what we find at Fairfield County or in Bridgeport for example.

"The Constitution State"

Tens of thousands every day pass through the Constitution State,

In their rat race from Boston to New York.

To them it's just 200 miles of winding highway snake,

Or the train's along the northeast corridor.

NARRATOR: Connecticut has always been deeply influenced and divided by its location between its two powerful neighbors. For some, Connecticut has a decided New York vent. For others, a New England flavor.

JIM SHELTON (Reporter, New Haven Register): A lot of people in this part of the state talk about the Q Bridge. The Q Bridge is a main part of their life. They sit in traffic ah for a long time on the Q Bridge and it sort of separates New York from New England in a lot of people's minds. When you're waiting in traffic on the bridge, you are still stressing out about your job. You are still worrying about what you're going to fix for dinner. You're still worrying about whether it's going to rain or snow before you get home. You get over the bridge and the farther away from the bridge you get, a lot of people tend to relax. The traffic eases up a little bit. The view gets much nicer. The Q Bridge separates New York from New England for a lot of people.

NARRATOR: The most often noted border is the one that separates Fairfield County from the rest of the state. Our image of affluence is derived largely from wealthy Fairfield County communities.

CAPT. JAMES GLEASON (Greenwich Police Dept.): Greenwich has a different class of people in many respects in that a large number of our population earn their livelihood in New York City and they, on a daily basis, take the train into New York City and are in the City for a good 10 or 12 hours a day and return here to live. Greenwich has been known in some cases as a bedroom community for New York City, which is very true.

KEN SIMON: Do you feel that you are a Connecticut resident?

MALCOLM PREY (Greenwich Car Dealer): I'm a Connecticut resident. My driver's license says so, but ah if you -- if I'm traveling some place in the world and somebody asks, "Where are you from?", I say I'm from the New York area. To say Greenwich, Connecticut is unknown. People envision wooden bridges and back country areas, which Greenwich is not. Greenwich is basically a suburb of New York, as is the better part of Fairfield County.

NARRATOR: As some see it, Litchfield County is on its way to becoming an exurb of New York.

CHARLES MONAGHAN (Editor, Connecticut Magazine): In recent years, you've had a lot of New York people, as we call them here in Connecticut, ah, moving up into Litchfield County as well into second homes or just going to live there and really transforming a lot of formerly utterly unselfconscious farm towns into these sort of sleek bastions of exurban New York. You've got fancy restaurants up there now. You've got fancy shops. You've got a lot of people driving around in fancy cars and those Litchfield County towns were so quintessentially Connecticut and now they've got such a strong New York influence that it's changed quite a bit.

ROBERTA SATOW (Soc. Prof., Brooklyn Coll.): They love the sense of history here and Americana here and rootedness here and this is what America's all about. They love the small town rituals and so on that they're not a part of. They're not really part of it, but they like being in a place where it's happening.

NARRATOR: As a sense of place just 125 miles on the other side of the state is quite different.

KEN SIMON: There's a nickname for this part of the state.

ROBERT MILLER (Putnam Town Historian): The quiet corner. Some people laugh at that. It isn't that quiet, but I think it's well named. If you fly over here in an airplane from Washington to Boston, you will find this is still a dark area in the whole eastern megalopolis.

KEN SIMON: Do you think that people feel that they're in the same state as say Fairfield County?

ROBERT MILLER (Putnam Town Historian): I think sometimes they feel they're in Massachusetts, because it's so close to the media there. Even politics -- they're more worried about who's going to become governor up there about their budget than ours and knew more about it, but it's sort of a natural thing.

Commercial, CT Broadcasters Association

You live here. You don't live here. So zap New York and get connected to Connecticut on Connecticut TV.

LEW FREIFELD (Vice Pres., WTNH): The basic underlying reason was to get more viewers who were watching outside television stations to start watching Connecticut television stations. We have an enormous number of television households that even though they're physically located here in this market place, are watching New York television or Providence, Rhode Island television, Springfield, Mass.

Commercial, CT Broadcasters Association

It's news about your town, not the Bronx. It's the weather here, not in Boston.

LEW FREIFELD (Vice Pres., WTNH): And what we found was that these people felt for some compelling reason that New York television had greater authority.

Commercial, CT Broadcasters Association

Watch Connecticut TV, Channels 3, 8, 20, 30, 61 and CPTV.

Get connected to Connecticut TV.

NARRATOR: The influence of both New York and Boston can be seen even in the state's divided sports loyalties.

SPORTS COMMENTATOR: The players may say the rivalry is dead, but don't tell the fans.

RED SOX FANS #1: The Red Sox -- Yankees --

SPORTS COMMENTATOR: Face it left field -- for there are scores --

YANKEE FAN #1: Yankee fan all the way.

SPORTS COMMENTATOR: And gone for a home run.

YANKEE FAN #2: Being a Yankee fan, I hate Red Sox fans. They're arrogant.

RED SOX FAN #2: Yankee fans are known to talk out loud.

Up the middle and a base hit.

RED SOX FAN #3: I like the Red Sox. I really hate Yankees, but I'm a Giants fan, so that's kind of a contradiction. I like post seasons.

SPORTS COMMENTATOR: And a looper to center field and that is going to be trouble.

SPORTS FAN #1: Well, see, now, that's the problem there, because Connecticut

SPORTS FAN #2: There is no Connecticut identity.

SPORTS FAN #3: I think the only -- the longest game that Connecticut roots for is the Celtics of any sport. Well, ya, you have the Giants --

SPORTS FAN #1: But as in baseball, your -- you're divided.

YANKEES FAN #3: It's gotta be the Yankees, definitely.

METS FAN #1: I root for the New York Mets.

RED SOX FAN #4: Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, cause that's where we live.


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Last modified: September 03, 2012