I’m watching Bill O’Reilly just now; it’s paused* as I type. He’s mentioning that Irene passed within 8 miles of his house; 8 miles to the WEST! Jeepers, not many people are able to say that a hurricane passed to the West of ‘em.
Anyway, hes talking about the fact that the storm brought out the best in people. Folks made an effort to drive to their places of business in order to open for people who didn’t have power. Profit motive maybe?
Sure, maybe. But probably not.
I grew up in Minnesota. We had highway 60 run right through town until the 4-lane came through and moved it outside of city limits. Winters are, as you would think, harsh brutal affairs. We would register at the city center and offer to house people who were caught on the highway and couldn’t continue.
Once, in college, I suffered a flat tire. While it was winter, it wasn’t brutally cold, only about 5 or 10 or so. I changed that tire that night and made my way to the Perkins, open 24 hours. A few folks were in there including some that knew me from my time tending bar. They mentioned that they heard I was out on the highway with a flat but that I had the car jacked and was making progress.
While I’m sure that they didn’t keep “a-look-out” for me, it was nice knowing that they knew. Cars were driving by and knew who I was. They told other people and they knew to say that to me.
When I taught, I kept a house off the paved road. While the water was running, it was cistern fed. I had to have a truck deliver water to my house; I collected rain-water and snow. I couldn’t cook or drink with t hat water, but hey; small town USA.
One night the neighbor down the way lost his barn in a fire. The whole scene was filled with neighbors taking care of kids, hustling cattle and horses. The barn, like I mentioned, was lost. 4 weeks after that fire we had a party at that farm. A new barn held host to a dance and much beer, love and friendship.
Minnesota, rural Minnesota, even in modern times, is still a place that can sneak up ya. Neighbors act decent because we’re a community. We know that we may be needed to deliver food, or labor or donate a horse or sheep.
Most of America is like this. Or would be like this if blizzards hit like they hit in Minnesota. Or if flat tires meant danger, like in Minnesota. People care, they wanna help their neighbor. They want to know that the place they live is a good place. Where you are cared for even as you care.
I wonder why we don’t think that’s the case?
* Paused. Awesome. My children have never watched TV that they couldn’t pause. I had 4 channels in total until I was 13. We did have a color TV, but it had knobs. The days…