March 31, 2017 at 8:19 pm #51625
The opposite of rural decline in this country is what I’ll call suburban abundance. Last night we learned our oldest granddaughter that will start kindergarten in August will be going to an International Baccalaureate Charter School that has a gifted & talented program. You can have stuff like that in an affluent suburban county with a 30,000 student county-wide public school system. Things like that are but one of the draws that pull young professionals away from rural areas.April 2, 2017 at 8:41 pm #51628
All this discussion bring an ache to my heart. I remember my younger days in rural NJ where the barns were hand-hewn post-and-beam with forged hinges. Same with the old square colonial homes. Then the bulldozers came, Levittown etc sprung up with barely enough space between the boxes for a lawnmower, and the city people filled the land. Prior to that, no one said “Joisey”. It was the newcomers that brought that accent and their ways. My family moved out…April 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm #51629
Wildartist, the same kind of suburbanization happened in Southern California over approximately the same timespan. Hundreds of thousands of acres of citrus groves were cut down, bulldozed into huge piles, and burned to make way for endless slurbs, to be filled with emigrees from the socialized industrial northeast, whose daddies had taken note of the mild weather on their way to/from WWII. In short order, we went from easygoing agricultural backwater to smoggy industrial powerhouse, until the PTB decided that Japan and Germany, no, wait, China!, should make all the tchotchkes we must have to be truly “with it.” Now, it’s just smoggy and crowded, which is why I’m not there any more.
Cry, "Treason!"April 2, 2017 at 10:58 pm #51631
I too know that of which you speak. The town I grew up in rapidly suburbanized, going from 5,000 people to 35,000 in 10 years. 100% of the farms were lost. The town eventually settled out at about 45,000 people. I can recall going back to my 20th high school reunion. Where I lived was the old part of town where multi-generational blue collar families lived in stark contrast to the upper middle class subdivision neighborhoods in the rest of the town. Though we were but a small segment of the high school population, the kids from my neighborhood that I started kindergarten with and eventually graduated with were probably half the attendees. We had roots. The newcomers didn’t and when their Dad got transferred away or retired to somewhere else they had no ties to the community to bring them back. All of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, & cousins lived in my neighborhood, and the rest knew my parents so there was no getting away with anything growing up there.
Despite the slowly falling (and aging) population I love where I live now in VT in part because so many here have deep roots to serve to preserve the culture, and with no development pressure the landscape gets preserved too.
That upscale suburban county where my daughter lives is picture perfect in every conventional way but it is sterile. There is no sense of history. Its all been bulldozed away. There is not a unique personality that an old community has. I understand the draw for young families. They just don’t know what they are missing is all.April 4, 2017 at 1:42 am #51633
We moved from a town of 2000 to 12,000.
Rural CO to mountain WY.
Bluntly, in our case the move was for the positive.
Better schools, jobs, even better people.
Sometimes you end up with inbred rather than what is needed.
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