I noticed while driving today how devoid of spring growth this town seems, compared to more well-off areas. It’s almost like winter barrenness persists here longer, because of the transient nature of this blue collar military area. People don’t stay here long enough, or make enough, to landscape for the long haul. So all the telltale flowery signs of spring are absent.
I guess I can’t talk about transience, because we’re following in the footsteps of previous migrations of smarter folks who got the hell out of here, unfortunately leaving behind a ghost town. Most of the businesses downtown are abandoned, along with the houses. Our friend Ron, who owns an antique consignment shop, is increasingly surrounded by empty buildings. Mostly what’s left are payday/auto title loans, drive-through liquor stores and sleazy bars, ripoff convenience stores, and even shadier “businesses”. There’s a lot of crime.
The culture here has transitioned from the old midwestern model, of rural families remaining in one area for generations, all employed in big industries their whole lives, and retiring on a pension, to industries drying up and leaving people stranded in dire depression era-like conditions. It’s not a very attractive location for new entrepreneurial pursuits or technologies. Those who could, got out, while there was an influx of poorer Kentuckians. I call it “the South of the North”. Naturally, it’s prime trump territory.
Meanwhile, back here at The Almanac, we keep our eye on the goal, and plan our exit strategy. We know no place is ideal, especially in trumpworld, where all bets are off, but we are realistically, cautiously optimistic. We know the pros will outweigh the cons, and we’ll take on the challenges as they come. We have to hold onto hope that sanity and reason will eventually prevail in this world, or why try anymore.
On that hopeful note, here are local signs of life reemerging, courtesy of local wildflower and herping groups. We have: Virginia Bluebells, White Trout Lily, Harbinger-of-Spring, and Snow Trilliums.
And here we have two Spring Peepers, a Spotted Salamander, and a Smallmouth Salamander.