Revisiting an Old Theme

Recent events have brought this memory to mind. It happened about this time last year.
Eating some breakfast at Blue Ridge Restaurant the other day when a local approached. "You that photographer up at the dairy barn?" The locals call The Jacksonville Center "the dairy barn." "Yep." "Where you from?" "Willis." "Nah. I don't mean where you're living now. Where you from?" "Willis." "No shit?" "No shit. Graduated from FCHS in '65." "Then what are you doing with them hippies up at the dairy barn?" "Making new friends. You should try it some time."

Recent events have brought this memory to mind. It happened about this time last year.

Eating some breakfast at Blue Ridge Restaurant the other day when a local approached.

“You that photographer up at the dairy barn?” The locals call The Jacksonville Center “the dairy barn.”

“Yep.”

“Where you from?”

“Willis.”

“Nah. I don’t mean where you’re living now. Where you from?”

“Willis.”

“No shit?”

“No shit. Graduated from FCHS in ’65.”

“Then what are you doing with them hippies up at the dairy barn?”

“Making new friends. You should try it some time.”

He muttered something obscene and left, leaving me to finish my pork loin and eggs and wonder why, after all these years, it still matters so much whether or not someone is “from here.”

This is a country founded by people who were all from somewhere else. We moved in on the people who were “from here” at the time, pushing them off their lands because we felt we had some God-given right to do so.

Will Rogers, who was part Cherokee, used to tell the story about the woman who bragged to him that “my ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”

“That’s nothing,” Rogers replied. “Mine met the boat.”

It shouldn’t matter where someone is from. What should matter is that they are here, making a home and becoming part of the community.

Yet, to some, it still does matter.

That’s a shame.

There’s a lesson here for all who choose to heed. Unfortunately, some are so blinded by their own hate and prejudice that they will not see it. That’s their loss.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

3 Responses

  1. Well, I’m gonna play devils advocate for a minute… suppose outsiders are to the local what Walmarts are to the preservationists… just a thought… not one that makes me comfortable either by the way.

  2. Carl, it’s a valid thought but, as you say, not one that really makes anyone comfortable. I think that the war, if there is one, between long time residents and outsiders is diminishing daily. Most longtimers are far more accepting nowadays.

    And it remains a delicate balance between economic needs and aesthetic desires. I’m not as concerned as others when a Hardees or a Subway or a Dollar General moves into the area but agee that a line needs to drawn somewhere. When I was growing up in Floyd the big debate was over a Piggly Wiggly coming to town. That chain is longgone and the independent grocery that replaced it closed when Food Lion opened last year. It’s now slated to be rehabbed into a center for business and retail development and most of the investors in the project are businessmen who have moved into the county in the last 20 years.

    Doug

Comments are closed.

On Key
Related Posts
Keeping time around the world

Keeping time around the world

In a period of my adult, professional, life, I spent many days (and nights) on planes flying around the world. For many of those years,