I’m remembering a time when I could walk down the street with my daughter and my wife without needing to be paranoid.
I didn’t need to carry a gun. I didn’t need to carry a knife for, just in case, protection. I still did, but I’ve carried a knife since my 7th birthday. That’s when my grandpa gave me my first Swiss Army/boy scout knife. He told me – Buzz, never leave home without it. You’ll never know when you might need it.
We use to go for walks and talk to the neighbors. We use to know everyone in the neighborhood. Everyone “got along” as much as many different mind sets can. However, we had each others backs.
If a tractor is broken, there’d be two or three of us out there mowing, cutting and pitching. A man’s freezer is down, we’d be there with generators saving this year’s hunt.
I’m not taking about the 50’s or 60’s. I’m taking about the 80’s and 90’s. I like to poke, play, joke and rib, but I’m truly disheartened by my America today. I miss the land of the friendly neighbor.
My wife and I had a house on the lake. It wasn’t huge and spectacular, in fact some would call it and have called it a simple summer house. We inherited it from her parents when her mother passed away. So we decided to move from our house in town to be in the place her parents loved so much.
The first few years were absolutely wonderful. We would go for walks around the lake, chat with neighbors and have pontoon parties in the middle of the lake on hot summer days.
There was always a BBQ to go to, a birthday or graduation party for someone in the neighborhood.
Being back in the country made us both feel that happiness we use to feel when we were younger. The fresh air, the sounds of nature, the friendships. Then things changed.
We slowly realized over the course of a couple of years all of those things changed. The children had graduated and moved. The older individuals sold their houses and moved to a warmer climate. The county expanded the building area so more houses could be built.
The people that were moving in to the neighborhood were black, Mexican and Muslim. All of a sudden in a span of only two years, we were the ones that were totally out of place. Rap music, mariachi music, the insane eastern flute music was all you heard 10-15 hours a day. From spring to fall – the noise never stopped.
Groups of loud and blatantly disrespectful teenagers, mixed with adults, would walk up and down the streets screaming and yelling for no apparent reason.
We couldn’t take the boat out without having three or four large groups of these loud and obnoxious people a few yards away at any given time. It was as if they were making it a mission to totally strip us of any calm and privacy.
We took down our dock. We sold our boat and we said as long as we can watch the sun come up over the lake it was still worth being there – because that was what my wife and her father did together almost everyday for 10 years.
One morning, I put out a Trump/Pence sign. I went in to get my coffee. When I came back out, a couple of the women in the neighborhood were tearing it down along with my Confederate flag.
I called the police because that’s what my wife told me to do (instead of what my alternative was going to be). She didn’t want me going to prison.
When the police got there they told me there was nothing they would, not could, but would do. Because, as far as they were concerned, my sign and flag were symbols of hate.
That was the last straw.
We sold both of our houses and most of our belongings to the first white bidders. We found a house in the mountains with property and quiet, community centered neighbors. A place where your property is an extension of your house and you have the right to protect it and yourself as you feel fit for safety.
I fear it’s only a matter of time before the dregs of this new America reach our doors again.
I’m truly saddened by this nation’s course and I miss the days of my youth, when your neighbor was like family and we all worked as a team to better ourselves and our community.