What Have We Done?
By Sam Burnham
Going back too our earlier topic of the small Southern towns:
It struck me the other day as I was a passenger sitting in traffic and looking at the meaningless blobs of crime against aesthetics that line the sides of that particular road as I looked at that five lane river of cars in this small town, I thought about all those rat racers and realized that this is a daily ritual. It gave me that same empty feeling in my gut that I get on those occasions I am sitting in traffic on 75 in Cobb looking at that crazy skyway thing they are building.
And I asked myself the same question the Cobb phenomenon begs of me: "What are we doing to Georgia?"
We're packing ourselves into fewer larger towns because we can get better jobs, make more money, live in more comfortable houses, and have more plentiful entertainment options. In exchange we sit in traffic, work jobs that may or may not fulfill us, and vacate a thousand quaint towns that could offer us community, a fulfilling life, and the kind of homes our forebears provided for us, our parents, and grandparents.
If we aren't rats, what in Sam Hill are we doing in a rat race? More importantly, is our culture, along with all those stories we claim inspire nostalgia for better times in us all, decaying along with those small towns? Are we selling our birthright for a bill of goods?
Go listen to Jerry Reed sing "Lord, Mr. Ford" while you think about it.
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire