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I remember riding down the road when I was little, orange groves on either side as far as the eye could see, the smell of orange blossoms thick in the air. There was never much traffic on this two lane road and that’s how we liked it. It’s a road I still drive every day, but it isn’t the same and never will be.

We moved to the outskirts for a reason, we didn’t want the baggage that comes from living in the city. We didn’t want the cookie cutter houses on half acre lots to be our life. My parents wanted substance for me and my brother, something you can’t find in the emptiness of the suburbs. We grew up playing in the woods, not the concrete jungle; we raised pigs, chickens, turkeys, and had a garden. I learned to shoot in my backyard at the age of 6. We never had to deal with the headache of a Home Owners Association. You couldn’t wish for a more wholesome upbringing.

Ten years down the line, the orange groves started to disappear. I still remember the look on my mother’s face when the first section was cleared. Not long after clearing out the groves, they started to modify the road, we knew that this meant the property had been sold and that the suburbs would encroach ever closer on our simple living. With the suburbs came suburban problems, more crime and more traffic.

There are now four different subdivisions in this area, with a fifth one currently under construction, and not even a quarter of the orange groves remains. People have told me to move if I don’t like “progress,” but moving is only a temporary solution to the never ending spread of the suburban rash; and this rash will continue to spread until everything beautiful in this world is gone.

– Tyler J. Thompson

I’m not tryin’ to put down no big cities
But the things they write about us is just a bore
Well you can take a boy out of ol’ dixieland
But you’ll never take ol’ Dixie from a boy
And lord I can’t make any changes
All I can do is write ’em in a song
I can see the concrete sl