Truth.

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

Ariel Durant

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rough night weather wise. I'm still up here.




"Copper Canteen" is a pretty good description of the people who lived in this county in 1986, when I moved here after leaving the service.




But it's not a whole lot like that now.  First, the sewing plants and chicken farms, and the lumber mills shut down after NAFTA. Then all the young people left when they graduated High School. After that, Zell Miller, the governor of Georgia, built a four lane road up here so people from other places could get into the county. We got flooded with well off people from Florida and South Georgia who wanted "summer houses" or who moved to the mountains year round. It's a really different place now.  Big flashy golf course. A huge marina on the lake for people to park their pontoon boats. Every fast food joint in the world all crowded around the four lane. The old center of town is pawn shops and cheap motels now.



I liked it better back then.

We had a big storm last night, and it was a bad one. I can see from the porch that I have some trees down on the jeep trail. I would imagine there are a lot more down where I can't see. And the old forest service road will have trees down. Nobody but me here to clear all that.  Time was, everybody who lived out here came out and cleared the roads. But now, either they are too old, or they are transplants who would never dream of doing that. It's not their job.

I came back from Chattanooga once, along the river road. A deep, wide river on one side of the road, sheer rock walls on the other. Traffic stopped. I sat there awhile and then I walked up to see what had happened. There was a little rock slide, and there were rocks in the road. And all these stupid people were sitting in their cars waiting for the road department to come fix it, but how was any road crew going to get in there?

I starter rolling rocks off the road. After a bit, two college boys came and helped me. But nobody else. The rest of  them just sat there and watched us. When we got the road clear, everybody just drove on by.  That's not how people used to be up here. I can't account for it.

Well. I guess I better change into my work clothes. I need to be able to get in and out of here and it isn't going to fix itself.

18 comments:

  1. I understand how tourist dollars can help a local economy. But I have yet to see an area that was made more beautiful because of tourism. When I lived in an area that catered to tourists, my only wish was that they would just go away.

    I have to wonder what sort of mentality it is to just sit and wait to be rescued without putting forth any effort of their own. I had someone tell me they didn't need to prepare because if there were a disaster, the government had to bring them food and water. The scary part was not so much that this was a close relative, but that they really believed what they said.

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    1. I can completely believe that there are large numbers of mentally challenged individuals who are incapable of thinking or acting on their own behalf. There were a lot of them out on the streets this past weekend on their "million moron" march. Just like cattle, the whole herd following the lead cattle, though they had bullhorns and not bells.

      The people moving in up here have been largely a liability, other than increasing the tax base. There are some good, solid people who are an asset to the county though, and I guess I ought to think about them and not the one's who got dogs banned from the park, and then got the county to ban bicycles in the park. Those people are not an asset.

      It's the people like the one's who sat in their cars, dumbly waiting for someone else to come clear a few rocks off the road, who are a big part of the problem in this country. People who loved Obama and were glad to let him think for them, so they didn't have to. Now they feel lost and afraid. Like sheep without a sheep dog.

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  2. Glad you are OK, Harry. Please don't overdo clearing your road. Maybe you need a small old tractor that you can chain up and use to drag logs and push snow. Don't know what we would have done all these years without ours. I liked the people and times 50 years ago, too, although in this neck of the woods people are still like that. Hang in there.

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    1. Tewshooz, it was worse down there than I expected. Still, I got most of it cleared. I hate using a chain saw on blow downs, and I really hate doing it by myself. But no option at the moment. When I decided to live way out away from everybody else, there were a few aspects of that I didn't really give a lot of thought to.

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  3. I'm surprised some folks take the time to wipe their own backside.

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  4. Gorges, based on some of the pictures of the Million Moron March I saw this weekend, there are a lot of people who don't.

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  5. Harry, I live in the U P of Michigan and what you describe is exactly the same here. It was much nicer here 30 plus years ago. We got our negative imports from Illinois and California. They brought their asshole attitudes and crime. Same all over I reckon. --ken

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    1. Ken, that's the story. When I moved here, I never for a minute dreamed it was even possible to put in a four lane road. There were two roads that crossed in town, one going North South and one going East West. There was a Hardy's hamburger place there, and a gas station. There were two small grocery stores, and around the town square a few shops. The population was 15,000. Those two roads coming into the county came over the mountains and the roads were so bad even locals got car sick on them. The people who lived here were largely country people, hard working and honest.

      Now, the population is 37,000 in Summer and Fall. Most of the people who live here are transplants. The really big pieces of property, that had been in the hands of the same families since the 1840's have been cut up and developed, because as property values rose, the owners couldn't pay the taxes on them. We have 140,000 Hispanics in a county near us because they were brought in to break the strikes in the chicken plants and never left. Some of those individuals come over here to steal and facilitate the drug trade.

      Up here on my mountain, I'm relatively safe from all that as I am surrounded on three sides by National Forest and I own down the mountain on the fourth side. But things have sure changed and not for the better. My wife is scared to go out on the old Forest Service roads now, so we don't go out there anymore. I have to have an integrated security system because of all the break in's, where ten years ago nobody locked their doors.

      "They brought their asshole attitudes and crime." You summed up my thoughts to a T. That's exactly what it is.

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  6. Sorry Harry, I wish I had a big truck, I'd come down just for the fire wood, and to help you out.

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    1. It's all part of the game. Just gets harder to play as you get older, that's all.

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  7. Harry,

    It's every where, people don't help one another out. It's a shame.....If I lived up on your mountain or close by, our family would be out making sure our neighbors were okay. We would be out there with saws, trailers, and hands clearing the area.

    You and your wife be careful removing downed tree's!!!

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    1. Sandy it was that way here for a long time. What really killed it was when the businesses that everyone relied on went under. Then the young people started leaving , just as my kids did, because they had to find work. The infusion of new people who don't have any real sense of community was the next blow. I am an oldster myself, but I have to say when the majority of your community gets to be the Senior Citizens, and they come from somewhere else and have no tie to the culture, you're in serious trouble. Our county built a beautiful park, with tax money. It had a nice concrete bike trail by the river. Kids could ride skate boards and bikes, while the family had a picnic. Then the incoming Seniors got up a group who didn't want bikes or skateboards because it interfered with "the senior walking path", which it had never been. But the county banned bikes and skateboards. Next, these same people decided dogs shouldn't be allowed in the park, so no dogs. They have a power here way out of proportion to their numbers because they go to the county commission meetings (which are always on a work night), and a lot of them are retired lawyers, etc with too much time on their hands, which they invest in getting their way about everything.
      When the county built a 4H shotgun range, they tried to scotch that but enough locals got angry and showed up that they didn't win that one. I don't mean all of them are a pain in the ass, because they aren't. But a lot of them are. I know you are from New York originally Tew Shooz, but I never think of you that way. Having said that, I have to say the very worst of these seniors are people from New Jersey, or New York, or Massachusetts, who moved to Florida and then moved half way back to here. They are flat out awful.

      Oh,well. nothing to be done about it.

      My wife is up North with the kids. She needs some dental work that I was nervous about having done here, and we didn't want to go down into Atlanta. So she is going to get it done up there where there is a choice of good endodontists.

      The only thing I did yesterday that didn't work out so well was wearing a short sleeve work shirt. That was stupid. Consequently my arms are all chopped up today. I hate pine trees.....

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  8. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    On the rock slide story. I would have gone knocking on car doors asking for help, or I would have turned around and gotten a hotel room for the night, screw the 'half way backs.

    I live in a tourist town but this is still Texas and a great many still have 'common courtesy' and self respect. I see tourist get stuck on the beach often and if I don't make it there first to help tow them out of the sand. Someone else is always close by with a tow strap and a truck.

    As per the 'Million Moron March' They have no idea how lucky they are to have the legal ability to march in the streets. If it was Saudi Arabia. The women would have been whipped and imprisoned for being 'disobedient'

    'Trump has not really done anything yet, and yet all the special snowflakes are having extreme meltdowns.

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    1. You couldn't turn around, CC. We were trapped. There's a river on one side and a steep wall of rock on the other. There's no passing places or pull overs where that happened. Nor could a work crew get in there without walking a good distance. As for knocking on doors, I figured if they were so sorry they'd just sit there like cattle, they weren't going to get out and help me if I asked them too. It did turn out the rocks were a little harder to move than I had thought they would be, and I was running out of steam when those two boys showed up. I was trying to move this damn rock and it just kept spinning around. But in the end the three of us got the road clear. I got through, which was my concern, and as for the sheeple, I was mad but I got over it.

      I listened to Hannity last night, and he played a speech given at the Million Moron march. It was entitled "I am a nasty woman" and she sure as hell was. We call people like that White Trash down here. I couldn't believe any woman would say things she said, I finally turned it off I was so revolted.

      Those people are nothing like us. We'll never get along, we'll never believe the same things. I don't know how all this will end but it won't end peacefully, that's for damn sure.

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  9. yeah, blow downs are the worst- all sprung and hung with lots of stored energy- got any cell service? Got a phone? Just in case?

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    1. That's what is so frightening about them. I had a buddy who was working on a big blow down, he cut through a limb, and it whipped out from under the tree and hit him square on the knee cap, smashed the leg completely. He had to go through some ghastly operations, pins and all, to get the use of his leg again. They are dangerous, and you can't just eyeball the pile and make sure you are not going to get a branch in the teeth. There's also the prospect of having the chain saw kicked back into you.

      I have a cell phone but the Jeep Trail runs down a clift in the mountains, and there's no service. Usually my wife either comes down with me or stays at the house and we keep in touch on hand held radios, but she is up North right now.

      So it's just a matter of being as careful as I can and taking my chances.

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  10. On our road if a tree falls or something people work together to clean it up. No one counts on the state to show up anytime soon.

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    1. It used to be that way here, although I've always had to do my Jeep Trail up the mountain , I just had my son to help. But people would help clear the old forest service road , and the dirt county road, so I could get out to the paved road. But most of those people are dead now, or in "assisted living." Not so many people go out in the national forest anymore either, so there's not much incentive for anyone to clear those roads. I'm really the only one who uses them much these days.

      But I remember when it was like your situation. When a storm came by, everybody turned out to clear the roads so they could be used, and so the power crews could get in and restore power. Nobody just sat home and waited for someone to come do it for them. You could do that out at the lake, where all the high and mighty lived, but out in our semi deserted part of the county, you were last on the list for any kind of help from the county, the state, or the power company.

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