In 1958, a woman from The Welcome Wagon came to our new domicile bearing discount coupons and information about services and amenities available in Tucson. A pleasant surprise that we hadn't previously experienced when moving .
The Welcome Wagon no longer exists, but I still believe that the Tucson community is a welcoming community. My Oregonian nephew made the observation many years ago that "The baristas in Starbucks actually TALK to you!" I'll admit that I am so used to engaging strangers in conversation or being engaged by strangers in conversation (even in elevators!), that I had become ignorant that that behavior isn't universal. I hope that that doesn't make me seem forward when I'm visiting other communities.
Regardless, if being friendly to strangers IS an affliction, I hope that the condition becomes pandemic. The rest of the world can only benefit if it becomes a welcoming community like Tucson is.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.