Re: More from the Mound 'o Paper
Sat, 24 Sep 1994 11:42:06 EDT
On Fri, 23 Sep 1994 01:02:17 CST "Settummanque, the blackeagle"
<waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU> wrote as a plug for SCOUTS-L Archives:
<A lot of personal observations on Labor Day, poverty and eastern Kentucky>
Mike, your posting struck both a chord and a nerve.
I grew up in rural Wayne County, West Virginia, about six miles south of
Huntington. Having that background, I can attest to the extreme poverty in
Pike County, Kentucky, the "poor but proud" attitude of the people there, and
their self-reliance in growing or hunting it, rather than buying it.
These people tend to be cautious whenever "strangers" come into their
communities, but once they recognize that those "strangers" are not going to
do them any harm, they are really quite warm and friendly - some of the best
people I ever knew.
My dad drove a semi-trailer full of milk to Prestonsburg, in Floyd County
(real civilization compared to where Mike was describing). I had the chance
to see the area evolve over an 18 year period through the sixties and
seventies. There was some progress (new schools and roads built), but a lot
of the old traditions, promulgated by the economics of the area, held on.
I had a real shock this past summer when I visited eastern KY and saw the
changes - they have made considerable progress since then. Some of it has
been good. Unfortunately, this region has been going through a "brain drain"
where the best, brightest and smartest have gone on to greener pastures, and
those who have less ambition or more loyalty than desire have remained (yes,
I number Yours Truly among them, because I have an ardent desire to eat and
have a dry roof over my head - kinda hard to do that in a region where the
living costs are the same as parts of Florida, but the wages are only 60% of
what is needed to survive).
A lot of the shanties are now replaced with double-wides, and there seems to
be a coal truck parked in every third driveway, whenever they aren't on the
road causing mayhem because they have to drive 20 hour days to make ends meet
and are suffering from amphetamine crash so they can drive those 20 hours; a
lot of my generation don't hunt or grow gardens any more except for the
poorest of the poor (that's grandma's stuff and besides there is no time) and
the friendliness those people showed seems a little frayed around the edges.
Drugs have invaded even the most remote schools, and kids are stealing more
than hubcaps to feed their habits. And this is called "progress?"
(Soapbox mode on)
Sometimes, I think that we were better off when the Cleavers and Ozzie &
Harriet were the ideal families, churchgoing people were the rule rather than
the exception, and a modicum of courtesy was practiced. The needs of the
society as a whole outweighed the needs of the special interest group.
I know the Cleavers and the Nelsons are dead, and that fewer people fear God,
but these are only the symptoms of the dying culture. The lack of manners
and hospitality, along with the pervasive meanness and selfishness of
society, must truly be the disease that is killing our culture.
We venerate the pot-stirrers, activists and hell-raisers who preach that the
needs of the few outweigh the needs of the whole and that the only way to
progress is by revolution, not evolution; we have forgotten the great
statesmen, educators and inventors who made progress for this country in the
form of setting and realizing attainable goals. We have traded things that
last for the facile gratification, and have lost the knack for long-range
planning and goal-setting for the fast buck. As a result, we are now in the
throes of political correctness, which IMHBCO is a form of hypocrisy greater
than any sins of the past.
(Soapbox mode off)
It was good to be reminded of my past - I think that the lessons I learned
then need to be reviewed, and see what can be applied to today's society.
Maybe we can salvage ourselves after all.
Randy Spradling, P.E.
Assistant District Commissioner Treasure Coast District, Gulfstream
Council(FL) Aal-Pa-Tah #237 Eagle Scout (1971)Vigil Honor (1974)(Thal-Coo-Zyo
#457)(Sukeu Woapalanne-Black Eagle)
Life Member Alpha Phi Omega Mu Tau Chapter (#589-139879/Life#5915) (WV
I "used" to be an Owl... (SR-5).
Civil/Traffic Engineer in my spare time
(To know oneself is the ultimate form of aggression)(Calvin: Do you think
that children are born sinful? Hobbes: No, but they are quick studies.)
I >>>----I>----<> I
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City