Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Fields are receiving a guest tomorrow. He’s not very welcome, but he arrives like a brazen relative at a holiday function. For decades, the river upon which the Fields rest has been prone to bouts of flooding and sees fit to do again soon. I remember the largest in quite some time was no more than six years ago. The city looked like a third-world country. Debris was laying everywhere as the river purged its contents beyond its normal boundaries. Ruined housewares lined the streets while bulldozers scooped them up into dump trucks. Scavengers poked around these mounds in a crass attempt to profit from mass misery. I remember feeling sick in the pit of my stomach watching them creep about town eying each pile as if it were the cover girl for Playboy. Filthy, wretched bottom-feeders.

The local government has not made much progress since then, and several floods have happened in the meantime. The next is predicted to be on the larger size, but not the worst we’ve had. This clarity of its detriment is unquestionable. It drives out business and lowers the value of the area, yet the movers and shakers haven’t done much of either to take care of it. It’s a likely case of self-interest. Washington D.C. has not come to our rescue as it would have every American believe. The Feds are so wrapped up in their own affairs they can’t see half-past the Beltway. They don’t care about some hick town in Ohio, and have demonstrated just that. We obviously don’t have the means to do much of anything, and not even our representatives are speaking up on our behalf.

So, we sit and wait. There’s not much else to do but watch the water rise and hope it doesn’t damage anything important. We watch our property values once again drop, because of apathy. We watch people get hurt because they don’t know how to cope with driving in these conditions. We watch another page in a sad chapter unfold. I’m often badgered into appreciating the luxuries of a first-world country. What about this? Will a hot cup of coffee fix my house? Will a dinner out bring our economy back? Will modest, personal transportation mend a fractured community? No, it won’t. There’s a pecking order of concerns and its time for others to admit that serious problems aren’t being addressed.

…and people wonder why I have a beef with this town.

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8 thoughts on “Saturday, December 21, 2013

  1. It is everywhere. I despair at America.

    • We haven’t even completed a flood study with the Army Corps of Engineers, because there’s not enough green to grease the wheels. The new Corps program we’re enrolled in also includes three other projects, one of which is Charleston Harbor. Now we’re getting told deadlines of 2015, eight years after the fact. We also receive “lack of funding” excuses, and cautions that those are tentative. The Congressional team we’ve sent to D.C. says they’ll keep pressure on the Corps to complete the study. You may be able to imagine how much I value their word.

  2. Doesn’t it make you proud to be part of the First World…..oh, by the way, Happy Christmas:)

  3. Laura Lynn says:

    I’m truly sorry to hear about the troubles there. I can’t do anything but send good feelings your way. Tainted by having just watched 2 versions of A Christmas Carol one after another. One of which was a musical. arrgh…
    I wonder what the Army Corp of Engineers is busy with these days? It seems that a major city flooding ought to bring our best people forward. Doesn’t it? I’m mystified at what qualifies for relief, if it isn’t a flood!
    ps; watch out for famine, fire, frogs raining down, a plague of grasshoppers? was it? and pestilence. If you see that, RUN! -if you can. Wade, if you can’t.

    • I understand. Not many Americans can do much of anything for us. The people in town are starting to wonder what the Feds would do, if we just cleared out the river ourselves. It’s bad enough trying to hold people back from using dynamite on the dams already.

      It’s funny you mention fire, as the downtown area is so old the wiring has been know to set whole structures ablaze. We have at least four building-sized holes in the ground due to flood or fire.

  4. Jen says:

    I know what you mean about being badgered into appreciating first world luxuries. I was having this very thought today, this very inner conflict. I do want to be grateful, and yet sometimes I just can’t help but be annoyed/complain about the things that, while aren’t immediately life threatening, bother me, and impact quality of life. (ie. pollution! Car exhaust, in particular, today)

    • When I hear people say, “first-world problems” it’s often used as a way to dismiss anything. Now, the problem could be trivial, but I don’t think all of them are. I think many people are dealing with serious problems and the small things are the straw the broke the camel’s back. When we get upset, we’re told to be grateful or basically shut up. A reactionary could describe that as a form of control: be quiet, stay in line, pay your taxes, and disappear.

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