Saturday, January 31, 2009

A town with a future, yet lost in the past

Living in the future,yet lost in the past, may sound like some thing out of a lost in space movie. But its not, its about people who just cant let go of the past, so they can move on to the future.Take for instance the young as well as the middle age, say beginning around the age 18 to 45. that sounds like a good enough age to start.Because their young and fresh out of High School.The only thoughts they really have are they've just completed 12 of the most grueling years of their life.Some will head off to college,others will just hang around the little po-dunk town in which they were raised.Taking on some dead end job, that won't ever lead to anything other than heartache and despair.Then you have those who did as they planned, they went off to college.Some with business degrees,others with a masters. And then those who will hook up with large corporations, and will never ever have to lift a finger again. Because they followed their dream of not wanting to be stuck in that small town in which they were born only to visit, if then. Dont get me wrong small town America isn't so bad if the right people are in place, that would help the growth of our smaller cities and towns. . Most leadership in smaller cities and town are afraid that if they incorporate, the larger companies will swallow up the Moms and Pops of America. And it is sad to say, that it does happen. Let's take for instance my town which has a population of about 33,000 people, if that, I have lived here now going on 8 years. Population verses work growth doesn't match, in that 8 years, I have to say growth has been moderate. At the industrial park here, (if you even wanna call it that), there was a chicken prosessing plant here that closed down and moved it's operations back to Missouri and Arkansas, leaving the park with 3 companies. A boat company, that has since close down, a oil field parts cleaning and restoration plant, that in the last 6 years has expanded. (that's one pro). Then the building where the prosessing plant originally was, was bought by an Herb and Spice company which brought back jobs to the community, only to have it not last even a full year. During one of our famous Southeastern Oklahoma ice storms some of the wiring shorted out due to heavy build up of ice on the top of the building. We lost the business because one of the maintenance workers turned off the water valve to the sprinkler system. Now that's suspicious. The building burned down due to several factors, the Fire dept. wasn't able to reach it in time because of the icy roads, the contents of the building and the distance of the park. Then we have Simonton windows and doors that is still here. They have jobs, and from what I hear, they have strict policies. I hear that if you are in charge of a line or in charge of loading trucks that 1 or 2 mess ups and they fire you. We also have a once called General Dynamics here but it laid off a few years ago and is just a shell of what it one was. National oil well business is booming but never has a opening to hire. Then there's the Army ammo plant which is a great job, it pays good. Some may laugh at this. But it's true, it's a great job, however, I didn't say it was a great place to work. The environment stinks. And if you have ever, and I mean ever heard that to be a true Government worker you need to be worthless and lazy, it is true. The ones who never turn into a true Government worker have it bad because,theyre the ones who are stuck carrying the load, and when brought to the attention of a supervisor get laughed at, told to suck it up or, oh well deal with. You will never find a work place worse than a Government job where the buddy system is in full play. And the part about those who choose not to be "true" Government employees, and left to carry the load, doesn't last long. And whether anyone chooses to believe this or not, there are more people than anyone will ever know, because of the way the Goverment is set up and the privacy policy, that have taken their lives or lost their lives at this very plant because of the leadership and the stress they place upon those who are the workers. But let's get back to a town with a future yet lost in the past. A couple of years ago they did "let" a Lowes building materials come to town, yahoo, big deal, cost them millions of dollars though. We have more hotels than we have people who stop in the city. One they just built and opened 6 months ago and hasn't had a customer yet, 6 months. The only thing big that ever happens here is when the Defense Ammunition Center (DAC) a part of the base starts Quasis classes and most of them stay in camping trailers on base. We did have 2 good eating places, I said did have until one changed ownership, now we have one and and I'm afraid to eat there because you always get sick after you eat there and not from over eating! There are a lot of fast food places. So what do we have to offer here in this po-dunk town, that would lead an 18 year old to prosper? Not a thing. Rent is to high on a rent house that has holes in the walls, unlevel floors, the roof looks like its about to fall in, and half painted. As i think about it now as I've been writing, the more I think about it, we haven't even had moderate growth. The only way to prosper in this small town is to have the name STIPE, COVINGTON, PHIPPS or Cuzalina and a few others I can't think of at this time. Where we live, if ya like drugs esp meth come on down, but don't get caught, they'll arrest ya and take your stuff and sell it on the side. Their known to be a little shady around these parts, OH and one other thing, dont go sticking your noise around anyone's property here you may not ever be seen again.
This town and others like it would lose its tag as a po-dunk town if it would get rid of the old leadership and vote in New and younger ones. How about an up and coming 18 year old, couldn't hurt it any more than it is. When we can get rid of those who are stuck in the past, this town can move into the future. The reason I mentioned the age 45 up top is they'll spend their life here and at 45 still have nothing to show for it.
I've only pointed out the problems in this town to illustrate the lack of opportunity for our young people and how a town that lives in the past cannot offer a future.

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