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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"They paved paradise..."

"I see a dead tire and a couch with a broken leg!"

"There's another bottle! And a big black plastic bag, wonder what's in it?"

"Ok kids, enough of that, why don't you go back to counting red cars?"

"Ooh! Look, there's a bottle."

 "OK". "OK."

 "There's the sod company. I wonder how they put the dirt back on the ground after they cut out the patches of sod?" "That's a good question?"

 "Number one. I saw the first red one!"

 "Wow, look at all the new construction, you think they are making it six lanes?" "Looks like it." "Here too, wow, wonder what they are building?" "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot…." "Remember that song?" "Hmmm."

 "You know, when we were watching that football game the other night, the college game where they were playing in the rain, on the field had the fake grass?" "Yeah." "Well, I was thinking, did you ever hear of a grass museum?" "Uh, no. Why?" I think it may be time for someone to make a grass or lawn museum. Soon the kids in the next generation will never know what grass is, they'll have to go to a museum to see it, like the petting zoo for animals, where they can go in and touch grass, to see what it feels like. Pretty soon there won't be any more real grass like blue grass or rye grass, it'll be cement and artificial turf." "Uh, maybe, hope not in our lifetime."

 "Well, think about it, they are widening roadways, adding overpasses that move acres of rock and dirt. They drive right through towns and never make it a place to visit. Most of the new roads go straight somewhere bypassing everything in between. Remember, we would to take a ride and stop and visit towns as we drove along. We would notice local mom and pop shops with their own signature d├ęcor, everything was different, some places had country curtains or colorful tablecloths.

  We don't see anything of the towns anymore as we ride the road, all we see are highway arches in the distance. It is always the same thing. The same chains stores are everywhere with all the same facades. Everything the same, doesn't matter how many miles we travel, nothing new to look at.    Where ever we go we can get salty pizza, or burgers and fries. There are automotive supply chains, pharmacy chains, big retail chains, nothing different, no choice, nor variety. Soon it will all be uniforms, we'll all wear the same clothing, we'll all eat the same food, drive the same autos, fill up at the same chains. They call it the economies of scale, but I call it monopolies. Monopolies that are soooooo big they tell us what we want and what we can have. No longer is it a consumer driven economy but a mega corporate economy, a few big companies telling us what to choose and when to choose it. Remember in town there was the clothing store on Main Street, where we would walk and window shop? There is no such thing as window shopping any more. I miss that. I miss seeing what is offered without having to go into the store. I miss being outside in the fresh air looking to decide if I want to go into a place, if I like what they are offering. Now if I want something I have to walk into the store and walk all the way across the building to see if they have the color towels I want or what style shoes they carry.

  I liked seeing the way people, those mom and pop people, decorated their businesses. I liked seeing their personalities. Now, it's just the same. All of the same. Yes, it took longer to get from A to B but there were things to see in between. All I see is cement and macadam. Besides that, now they have divided communities. It is difficult thing to walk across cross six lanes. They don't have stop lights. All you can do is drive there, from one side of the road to the other. People can't even cross the road to visit their neighbors.

  Boy, talk about segregation and alienation. All in the name of progress. If you think I like it you are mistaken. And the sound of all that traffic moving faster, past homes and what is left of small businesses is probably dangerous, sucking in all those fumes every time they open their front door. Like that French movie we saw, where the family home was surrounded by fields and then a roadway was built right next to them and they had to wear gas masks to go outdoors, and they sealed up the whole house, all the windows, so the pollution wouldn't get in.

  Remember that fast food place we stopped at yesterday for coffee?" "Yes." "Well right across the one lane street from it there is a house. Their front door opened to see the parking lot and all the cars that came and stopped and left and arrived and kept moving through and those big rigs, those monster trucks, the ones who never turn off their engines when they are stopped. And the gas station with the radio blasting over outdoor speakers, right across the street from somebody's home, I bet the homeowners can't even watch their own tv or read a book without hearing the radio across the street, all in the name of progress. "

 "The more I think of it the more important that grass museum will be. Like the museums of the old west, a view of the bygone era. No grass, sad. No more listening to the noise from lawn mowers on Saturday mornings, maybe they ought to make a lawn mower museum too."

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