When the Big Town Comes to the Small Town

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What happens when the big town comes to the small town?

It becomes the big town.

This, of course, defeats the point of living in – of moving to – a small town. You’d think those who move to small towns would be especially aware of this fact. But some of them get lonesome for the big towns – and big town attractions – they left behind and work to bring them to the small towns they came to. Of course, money is also usually involved. Big town attractions make a lot of it and that induces the people behind them to bring them to small towns, leveraging the very rural town qualities that their big-town events will, inevitably, ruin.

An example of this is a big town event styled FloydFest, a week-long “world music and arts festival” that attracts tens of thousands of people to small town Floyd County, Va. (where I live) which has (for now) just one stoplight in the entire county and fewer full-time residents than people who show up for the “fest,” bringing with them big-town traffic, noise, litter and – more permanently – development.

The one begets the other.

Tens of thousands of potential customers for everything from food to gas to housing, as (inevitably) a significant number of those attracted to Floyd by the “fest” will be charmed by the small town ambiance and want to move there, themselves. This trend waxes as the small town becomes a hip town. The local yokel diner becomes a tony restaurant. The $2 cup of coffee is replaced by the $5 Americano Grande. Quaint locality becomes a selling point, rather than the thing, itself.

See the prior examples of Austin, Texas and Aspen, Colorado. Both now big towns, with big-town traffic and noise and litter – as well as cost.

As more and more people move into the small town, the cost of living in the small town goes up. Taxes on homes inevitably increase with the valuation by the tax-man of those homes. More taxes for new schools – fancier schools – demanded by the big town people, who bring their big-town values with them.

Many of the long-time home-owners came to the small town to escape the high cost of living in the big town – and the values of big-town living. But find both have followed them to the small town on account of big-town people who bring them. Who cannot abide by the slow pace and quietude of the small town. Who are unable to make the connection between turning the small town into the big town and big-town cost-of-living. Of all the big town pathologies and problems they left the big town to get away from, too.

Or they don’t mind that – and don’t mind imposing it on the population of the small town, which finds they no longer live in one.

I just found out that FloydFest moved its gathering place from about 20 miles away from me to less than five miles away from me. The big town is coming to what isn’t even a town. The part of Floyd I live in has a stop sign, an elementary school and a Dollar General Store. It hasn’t got the road capacity to handle the busy Interstate volume of traffic that attends the “fest.” The main road – U.S. 221 – is a rural two-lane highway that, normally, has very little traffic and rarely (if ever) big town traffic.

Floydfest changes that in the manner of a dam break overwhelming a small creek downstream. Each year, the “festival” creates a big-town traffic debacle – which is unavoidable because the small town roads were never meant to handle big-town traffic. Nor the areas surrounding the “festival.” Nearby homeowners often found strange cars parked on their land or using their driveways as turn-around points. These are both big-town annoyances that people move to small towns to get away from. They also heard the noise of the “festival” – tens of thousands of people partying, the boom of professional music acts resounding – which carries for miles, for days on end.

People move to small towns to get away from that, too. And the long-time residents would have moved to the big town, if they wanted to hear it.

But their voices are drowned out by the voices of the “festival’s” promotors. Their voices carry farther, are louder – because of the money that backs them. They have the ear of the local authorities – the ones who have the power to encourage the big town to come to the small town – by doing nothing to prevent it. As they would, if a local yokel were to let’s say fire up his straight-piped Harley and rev it obnoxiously all night long for several days in a row. No doubt because the local yokel – who probably wouldn’t rev his straight-piped Harley all night long, because he has to live next door to the people he’d annoy by doing that – lacks the money to prevent the local authorities from shutting his midnight Harley down.

Ultimately, that’s what it always come down to. Dollars.

This is not to argue against dollars. It is simply a quantification of what it sometimes costs those not making them. Floydfest brings in a lot of dollars – at the cost of small-town living, which was priceless.

. . .

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51 COMMENTS

  1. This obviously is a human nature “flaw” I work for the Lower case car Co. A couple of guys transferred into my org “escaping” from another notorious dysfunctional area. Sure as shit…. a few years later these same guys are the first to ass kiss and be militant in enforcing the same edicts that they so passionately removed themselves from! : (

  2. Hey Eric, been out of town for a few days, catching up on my ‘Eric Reading’. I was so glad to get back to my one traffic light town and house I couldn’t stand it. So much traffic and so many people! The only good thing about the trip was it increased my self-esteem. I never saw so many obese people with fat flab everywhere and tattoos all over their bodies. Tattoos on fat, flabby legs and arms of males and females. All the skinny people (not many of them) of course had tattoos. It was rare to see a person without a tattoo. And, yes I hate tattoos, I don’t care who you are–and I have plenty of family members with them, yuck.
    But am writing about the music fest thing. Five miles from your house is way too close. Last summer I was watching TV in a closed house with the AC on about 8:30 or 9:00 pm. All of a sudden I about jumped off the couch. I heard loud music that sounded like it was in my front yard–or in the living room with me. I do not have the volume on the TV very loud, just a comfortable listening volume—cannot stand for it to be yelling at me. Went out on the front porch, heard a woman singing, then heard a man ‘preaching’, sounded more like yelling and screaming. I could hear every word clearly from the singing and preaching.
    There are lots of houses scattered around, none of them close to each other at all. Turns out it was the Holiness church across the way. Cannot see it from my house ever, too much land and trees. Less than a mile as the crow flies to the church, several miles by car. Oh my goodness, I was mad. How rude and inconsiderate can people be? I felt sorry for the people that lived a lot closer, it was very loud. I don’t understand why they couldn’t be arrested for disturbing the peace. This went on for two or three nights. I think they were having a revival. Few days later drove down to the church, sure enough, lots and lots of RV’s all over the place and a stage set up. They must come from all over the country every summer to this little bitty church to get revived. They did try one night about a month ago, weather stopped them, thank goodness. Don’t know why there is even a Holiness church there. The main churches around here are Bad Baptists (me), worse Methodists and a smattering of other denominations in the whole county.
    Anyway, I feel for you. Yes, none of us country people move out here for it to turn into the city. We are trying to get away from people—away.
    Two more things, “I was born in New York City, which I couldn’t help.” And, why not, you were there weren’t you? What about taking responsibility for your actions? Sorry, I can’t help it–uh oh, pot and kettle–me. I do like the tractor idea too, that could be a lot of fun.

  3. Holy Cats!

    I was going to tout my latest “Development” idea as a sort of “Get away from the madding crowd” thing.
    However, given the comments about “intrusive developers”….this may be the wrong forum…..

    Oh..OK.. F..k it.. here goes.. me and my Venezuelan GF are about to do deep dive number 5 into the Dominican Republic and I will be examining in greater detail ..

    3 specific areas we zeroed as very cool probables for my

    Fabulous Ted Kaczynski inspired Habitations…to wit:

    1) Unabomber Hovels .. min .5 acre(for the budget minded);
    2) Ted’s Comfy Krashpads ..min 1 acre (for growing families) and;
    3) “Get Off My Land!” Garage Mahals, 3 bay minimum with guard parapet included! Ideal for “Mechanicos and Gomeros”.

    These places have really cool addresses:
    1) Undisclosed location
    2) Undisclosed location
    3) Undisclosed location

    How Cool is That!

    Stay tuned…

  4. Hi Eric,

    Get over it, Dude. Might as well try to stop the tide from rolling in.

    You’ve got a perfect opportunity to cash in on this, much better than Old Man Yasgur did at Woodstock. You’re a perfect distance from the venue. Charge them $150 for three day parking on your land, and run a 9:00 to midnight shuttle to the event at $25 each way.

    Then, your pristine little piece of paradise is “discovered.” So sell that place for a crazy high price,. Take the money and run. There are still undiscovered, idyllic spots, if you know how to look.

    • Hi Mike,

      Yeah, I know. But it pains me to lose something I love – and which I have put 20 years of sweat equity into. If it comes down to it, I will sell my place for a ridiculous sum to some Yankee or carpetbagger who is willing to pay Northern Virginia money for it. Then I will do as you say and bug out, far, far away. Which I’ll be able to do, courtesy of the Yankee-Carpetbagger money.

      But it’s still sad that every nice place ends up being ruined… paradoxically, by the very people who come to them because they are nice.

      • Hi Eric. Yeah, these same people you are describing remind me of the Californians (and other liberals) who move out, and go to places like Colorado and Montana to escape the very crap they know does not work (Communism and leftism). Sadly, they leave, only to decide to “try it again” somewhere else, because they were too damned dumb to learn their lesson the first time around.

      • Yup, same thing for Murrell’s Inlet, SC completely wrecked. Horry County zoning people getting rich.

        It is just gross here, feels just like the place we left, Annapolis MD or Bethesda.

        • Hi Mark,

          It’s not yet Big Town here – but I see the signs. And this loathsome FloydFest business will, I suspect, push things over the line for me. I am ruefully getting myself ready, psychologically, for a move should it become necessary.

  5. When we moved to our tiny little unincorporated community in Kentucky 3 years ago I was seriously eyeing things like main roads, interstates types of businesses that exist here, topography. The terrain here is fairly hilly and wooded difficult and expensive to develop large scale tract housing. Most land parcels are in the 5 acre or more range ( I’ve been told by locals there is a 5 acre minimum lot size for residences in this area.)
    There’s nothing here but a truck stop and a post office, good neighbors, great landscape and I hope it stays that way. I’ve gotten accustomed to driving 20 minutes plus for necessities and logging 500+ miles per week for work related things. The one thing I’ve noticed is the fairly affluent are starting to build out here on larger parcels mostly 10 acre plus hopefully property taxes don’t go up too much even though I don’t see congestion being a likely scenario in my lifetime.

    Keep the city in the city and the country in the country. Not too much to ask, right?

    • Hi Switch,
      “Keep the city in the city and the country in the country.”
      My wife and I are retired and live on the farm where I grew up. Not being a professional farmer, after my parents died we sold all but 56 acres. The parts that we sold are still being farmed, but many of the small farms around here have been divided up into (by city standards) large parcels, and very nice homes built on them.
      This has been going on for a long time, as we are about 50 miles from the big city – a significant but not egregious commute. In the past few years, four houses have popped up across the road from our property. It’s sad in a way, but I do have to say that our new neighbors are wonderful. I’m sure some of them would be shocked if they knew that I consider the state to be the enemy of mankind, so I avoid discussing anything political with them.
      Yesterday when I was out for a walk on the county road, one of them stopped to chat. Sweetest lady you can imagine.
      She was driving her new Chevy Bolt.
      She said it had been plugged in all night, but still wasn’t fully charged.
      She said they are getting a 240-volt plugin wired to speed up the charging time. Didn’t say how much that will cost.
      She said that on a recent trip to the city they stopped at a charging station about half an hour from home and waited to top off, just to make sure they wouldn’t run out. It was obvious that “range anxiety” is now a thing for them.
      She said that charging at home is quite economical, but that she did the math and concluded that when they have to use a charging station on the road, it would be cheaper to drive their Suburban – even at $4.50 a gallon.
      She said they are getting solar panels installed at their home soon.
      Did I mention that they are originally from California?
      I smiled and said: “Nice car.” Then I suggested she not sit there too much longer with the AC running and the window down.

      • Rolnad: I’ve never had a problem with “outsiders moving in into an area. I’ve been that most of my life. I do however take issue with the locust like tendencies of people to move into an area, totally flip the culture and then move to the next ripe area ( Yes Californians I’m referring to you) I watched rural Nevada turn into Sac-ratmento of 30 years ago.
        When someone moves to an area they are guest for the first five years minimum.
        They should get to know the culture and acclimate accordingly. I don’t care if you like useless cars, food I find disgusting, or talk different than me. They should not be allowed to vote in any state or local elections or referendums of any sort for 5 Years minimum maybe 10, myself included. You should not be allowed to run for public office unless you are at least a second generation resident. A nation and culture is its people and traditions or it is non existent
        Nobody wants others foreign politics and ideas in their school boards, planning/zoning, sherrifs office and state legislature. If a community adopts someone in as their own great, if not, theyrer a guest and should act accordingly.

        I love where I live and have no plans to go elsewhere or to make it like where I came from.

        • Hi Sicilian,

          Amen, in re not having a problem with outsiders moving in. Twenty years ago, I was one of them. But – as you’ve observed – the issue is whether the person seeks to change the culture of the area. I came here to embrace it. I think civility requires it. Few things are more obnoxious, to my mind, than people moving to an area to get away from their former area and then turning it into another area like the one they came from.

          I was born in New York City, which I couldn’t help. But I am Southern (and country) by nature and practice. I felt immediately at home here. I begin to feel less so as more and more Yankees – of mentality – move here.

  6. We all could be Gentrified Out, eventually. You will get your offer of 60 guilders worth of trinkets and move on or everything that bound you to the land will be destroyed and you’ll move on or you’ll die old, bitter and dispossessed, taxed to penury. The history of the Americas since the Europeans arrived has been one big continuous real estate transaction. Sometimes the currency was blood and bullets, sometimes cash, but in the end, well, it hasn’t ended.
    The fact that we have cars and roads to drive them on, houses warm and dry, computers to kvetch with in the first place is part of the mixed bag of “progress.”
    That said, however, you are not powerless. You don’t have to make it easy for them. Suppose that that a lot of farm equipment needed to use US 221 to move to other fields at the very safe speed of 4 MPH on the day of your guests arrival. Suppose that everyone in town filled their gas tanks on Thursday because prices will triple on Friday. Suppose every bag of ice in town was sold out. Manure spreaders fertilizing surrounding fields, you get the idea. Sand in the gears, man. If it’s a constant hassle to be there, will they come back?
    It is our natural impulse to treat others, even strangers, with courtesy and respect but your morals do not oblige to submit to a Floyd Fest “Camp of the Saints”.

    • Hi Worker,

      I like the tractor idea, amigo! I think my neighbors will, too. Sorry, city folk, had to get to the field. Made you late for the show? Can’ be helped. Maybe next time, have the show downtown.

  7. Small town people are the real conservatives, as in they seek to conserve their lifestyle, culture, and relationships.

    Increase of population dilutes this, as can be seen all across the USA.

    We moved to a place that was country in between two small cities. Close to work & shopping, but quiet and slower paced.

    Over the last 20 years that has been slowly migrating towards suburbanization. Thankfully very slowly due to lots of farm fields still being worked. But for how long? Then we will move again.

  8. Eric,

    One thing that contributes to suburban sprawl is the estate tax. When a farmer dies, the kids often have to sell part or all of the farm to satisfy the estate tax liability. Why? Because farms are very asset rich and cash poor, particularly right before harvest. Warren Buffett, who has his fingers in insurance, among other things, likes the estate tax. Why? Because people will buy life insurance to satisfy the estate tax when they die. Anyway, kill the estate tax, and you’ll kill suburban sprawl. Kids won’t have to sell the farm when their parents die, thus keeping the surrounding area rural.

    Of course, that depends on the local gov’t not playing games with the taxes. What a lot of NJ shore towns did to get more lucrative ratables in was to change how a parcel of land was treated for tax purposes. For example, they’ll change the tax designation from present use to best use. A piece of farm land could be taxed under a “best use” scenario predicated on having houses or businesses on it instead of the farm. The farm gets hit with an oppressive property tax liability, thus forcing the farmer to sell-all so the local officials can have more and better ratables.

    • Yes: What the uninformed people (Rush called them, “low information voters”) don’t get, is when the pols say, “The estate tax will only apply to estates of $1M and up”, the uninformed all think, “Well, that sure as hell aint me, so tax those rich sumbitches!” Basically, this breaks up the family farm. Even if the heirs *want* to farm, they can’t come up with the cash for the taxes in order for the land to convey. So, they sell to K Hovnanian Homes. Happens all.the.time.

  9. Oh the irony… The king of the open road burned by the fuel huffing long range machines of which he sings praise daily. Long for the days of EV and bicycle ownership by the many in dense urban centres! If it weren’t for those got-damned cars we could keep our hamlet peaceful and secure from those dirty heathen city people!

    If you follow this train of thought you’ll see very clearly why “our betters” want a post industrial society. The future of the west looks like the detroit suburbs. Former sprawl bulldozed and a maze of pavement ground back into the dirt. Unfortunately we can’t have it both ways.

    Love your stuff Eric, this post is in no way meant to belittle you or the wonder of automobiles, just to point out that they also bring a lot of baggage.

  10. Thus the tale of my retirement living. Here in Central WA for about 9 years, in the last 3 it is heading for the worse. We’re about 8 miles from town and town is growing which of course means crime, drugs, gangs (middle school in town has a drug gang problem). Out here we were ok till last fall when neighbors started reporting outbuilding prowlers and thefts. Town gov has gone full liberal, thankfully our county sheriff is old school and accountable to us country folk voters.

    Outside influences don’t help, WA state government built new buildings for social/health services the other for family and youth services, a third for dept of fish & wildlife. All in a row, three separate one story buildings, what a waste.

    Build it and they will come, hoo boy have they ever. Town is now full of trashy low lifes, their beater cars and feral kids. Judgemental? Absolutely. These animals have no respect for general civil behavior and “watch your back Jack” is vital now. We drive the grandson 30 some miles each way for private school to ensure he gets an actual education in a civilized setting.

    • WA State west of the Cascades, along I-5, is hopeless. We tried to make SW WA State work for four years and finally bailed in 2014.

      • I really thought we could ride this out till the dirt nap, now not so sure. Eastern WA is crumbling politically, several retirees in our ‘hood have bailed for the South supposedly to be closer to family – polite way of leaving this mess. Our doctor retired and is heading south as well.

        My daughter moved back here after the son in law’s military retirement now regrets it. Wish they’d stayed in Germany it actually cost less to live in her small village. They rented a three level house for 1700 euro / month including heat from the village methane digester (farming town). Electricity spendy but manageable. I was there twice, don’t know man, it was very civilized and the food much better quality than we get here. Grandson got a great education German Montessori thru 4th grade, he speaks reads writes German equal or better than the natives.

        • Healthcare is a problem in WA State. My friends brother is a specialist in Seattle, and he could not hire junior associates for his group paying $400k/year with the requirement that they live within an hour of the hospital downtown.

  11. I grew up in a small town just outside of the Denver metro area that got swallowed by the ever expanding blob. All the people new to the area, (almost everyone) were enthralled with how awesome the place was, albeit things being a bit crowded. All I could do was remember what it was like in the 60s and 70s. It was a horrifying transformation. The increase in traffic alone was enough to drive me nuts.

    Ten years ago through hard work, long hours, scrimping and saving I was able to buy a place in southern Missouri in a very low income county that didn’t have a single traffic light, to which I made my escape.

    Since moving to the area I’ve noticed a relentless push toward “growth” and development. Events are promoted constantly to attract tourism to the area and the local politicians make a slate of deals to attract tourism, business and development. Every week the paper gushes about how this is all helping local business and local prosperity citing glowing numbers.

    It makes me want to puke. I go to the Post Office and the lady behind the counter tells me with her chest puffed out with pride and a gleam in her eye that we’re going to be the next Branson. I go to the grocery store and get the same enthusiastic boast from the checker there. Hell we’re all gonna get rich! They’ve all bought into this dream, and they have no idea where the money will flow to or what the place is likely to become.

    All I can think is what an ordeal it was to get moved out here and how I would dread having to do it again. And to where exactly? Sometimes when I look into the future I’m happy to be old and nearing my expiration date.

  12. I hear of a small town about 45miles out in the sticks where the locals will run you out of town. Don’t need no stinking newcomers. Have no idea what is there today.

    People move to a new place, they see a garden, then another 20,000 more pilgrims move in and makes for traffic mania.

  13. When I first moved away from the “big city” (many decades ago) and established myself in rural America, one of the first things I did was to talk to my neighbors and assure them that agricultural operations or smells were absolutely no problem and expected.
    I visited my township officials and stated that I established residency here because of the rural nature and would oppose any changes that would bring in subdivisions or other urban amenities.

  14. Sorry to hear that, Eric. We’re heading in the same direction where I live about 30 miles west of Charlotte, NC. We’ve got an Injun casino going up that’s currently operating out of trailers on the site. And, west is the only direction left to go as Charlotte expands (over 100 people a day move into the area, per realtors I know).

    I remember almost 20 years ago we’d go up to Floyd for the weekend and stay at the Pine Creek Cabins for the weekend. No amenities, just a babbling brook out back. Drive into Floyd for the Blue Ridge Restaurant breakfast. Tons of the best carbs you ever had. And bacon, great bacon. They had a funky restaurant as well with a stage big enough for a folk singer or two. That’s it. Cruise the Parkway in our new Miata, life was good. However, Mabry Mill was starting to get overrun so, I guess that’s “progress”.

    • Hi Mark,

      Yup. The Blue Ridge Restaurant sold to some out-of-town new people; the Pine Tavern’s still intact – but who knows for how much longer. Downtown – formerly a genuine “sleepy Southern town” – is becoming a McCountry Tourist McTrap. It breaks my heart. And it is causing me to begin considering a move, before the whole area turns into another Asheville.

      • Amish Country in Ohio is well on its way to becoming Amish Disney as well. I think most of the stuff being sold in Berlin, OH is made in China. There are some pockets that are untouched but, it’s being encroached by both Cleveland and Columbus trendy types.

        Still good sports car roads in that area, just watch out for the buggies and their “exhaust”.

  15. Basically Florida, 40 or 50 years ago. One of my biggest fears when choosing a place to settle when escaping from filthy NY., and why I chose a place that was far from an interstate and kinda hard to get to from all the big cities (“You can’t get thar from h’yar”).

    And sure enough, now I’m seeing that very nightmare come true for places that are easier to get to- especially many parts of TN (Just to my south) where NYers and CAers are flocking in huge numbers and ruining everything as they always do.

    First come the tourists…then the retirees…then everyone else; the roads are inundated…and the McMansions go up, as do the property taxes, to pay to expand the infrastructure (Translation: You get to pay for the destruction of the quality of your life and the increased cost of everything. Subsidizing the retired pig from NY so he’ll have more of his $200K-per-year pension to redistribute to the local pols and their family’s business interests).

    Next will come the foreigners….. (Not that there’s anything wrong with foreigners per se -my grandparents were immigrants- but of course the foreigners today are gangbangers from S. America, nasty Indians, inhuman pea-brained Somalis…etc. People who don’t share our culture’s values, don’t assimilate, and don’t fear [even more] collectivism).

    And the saddest thing, is that many of the original residents of these tiny towns have never even been to the big city, or if they have, it was just for a vacation, where they only saw the polished surface, and thus are clueless about the quality of life (or rather lack thereof) and politics these former city-dwellers bring with them….they just see dollar signs, not realizing all they will get are new minimum-wage jobs at all the new chain restaurants- but will be the poorer for it as cost of living and taxes explode, and quality of life decreases…and of course, government grows…so now they have to buy permission to put up a fence in their yard….if they’re even allowed to.

  16. Research before you decide to move to a township.
    One without a downtown or large town within it is best.
    There are townships that mandate minimum lot sizes, some being 5 acres minimum to build. These are more desirable.
    Although townships can take federal housing money, they can restrict that money and apply it to a trailer park on the end of the township. This fulfills the “low-income housing” mandate. Of course, it is best if the township refuses the federal money, but…most townships take the money.

  17. We have the same problem in north Alabama with carpetbaggers moving in. Town councils / mayors in little hamlets like mine get a big hard on thinking about all the tax revenue from development. Cotton fields turned into ugly subdivisions and ugly government schools on a two-lane road never meant to handle the volume. The cotton fields are gone. The cotton gin is gone. The culture quickly disappearing.

    • Those McSubDivisions are popping up everywhere in Portage County, Ohio. One of them near a nice open field park and farmland… People are leaving Akron and Cleveland and spreading out, and two lane country roads are now supposed to support new Aldi’s, Meijer’s, Lube shops, car washes, Starbucks, etc.

      I lived here in the early 2000s and moved away for 12 years and came back, and it was always a pain driving but you could escape and take some nice scenic roads, but not as much anymore

      • I went to grad school at Ohio State. Even back then the small towns around Columbus would have billboards saying (paraphrasing) “this is an agricultural area, if you move here, it’s dusty, dirty, stinky, potentially loud, etc.” i.e. don’t come here & bitch about farmers broadcasting chicken litter on fields, etc.

  18. My county has escaped such, so far. There are only about 7,000 residents in the whole county, and its also a poor county. And consequently, a poor government. With a sheriff’s department that does not do “traffic patrols”, but waits for your call. I pray it stays that way.
    Decades ago I had a political candidate stop by my place while I was working on a vehicle. He proclaimed how eager he was to “modernize” the county, with building codes and such. I immediately informed him that this was the exact thing I moved to this county to avoid, and if such started here, I would find another county to move to. It has not yet started. I spent 30 years working in the neighboring county, a soviet province, and delivering the proceeds to this poor county. For many years I did occasionally shop in the soviet province. Since Covid, I no longer do. There was never any forced masking, or any other of the Covid insanities forced upon any one.

    • Hi John,

      in re: “There are only about 7,000 residents in the whole county, and its also a poor county. And consequently, a poor government. With a sheriff’s department that does not do “traffic patrols”, but waits for your call. I pray it stays that way.”

      This description could have described my county, 20 years ago. But it’s changed – and changing – and not for the better. Sigh. I may be forced to fee – again. The only upside is that I could sell my place to some Northern Virginia Clover for enough money to be able to never have to work again.

      • Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I don’t think the current political and economic outlook for the NEXT 20 years is good enough to bring this BS here. I think we are safe from the soviet intrusion, just a question of can we still eat, and have electric power to keep our food edible. And my son’s insulin usable.

    • Mr. Kable,

      ‘…A poor government. With a sheriff’s department that does not do “traffic patrols”, but waits for your call.’ The way it should be! And to hell with building codes as well!
      I’m in the middle of selling the house and moving to my land in rural Yavapai. Unfortanately, there are, ostensibly, building codes. Though out there, I imagine most people don’t ask for permission to build whatever on their own land. A sighting of the sheriff has been, luckily, a rarity.

      • Bad,
        The only LEOs I’ve seen on the ten miles of blacktop between here and the local small town in the last several years, is the State police working a traffic accident, since it is a State road.

  19. There are ways to do these things right. Take Sturgis, or any ag-school football town. They intentionally build up the infrastrucure to handle the influx of visitors then let it sit idle for most of the year. Oh maybe they have an arts fesival or something in the off months, but for the most part there’s a lot of unused capacity. One could make the case that Beaver Stadium is a waste of prime central Pennsylvania farm land (I’m in that camp), but it does bring in the revenue. Even without the peddo-loving coaching staff.

    These sorts of music fesivals are almost never done properly when they happen outside of a purpose-built venue. Hell, the grandaddy of them all, Woodstock, was more nightmare than anything, at least if you were sober. And there’s a lot of room for shenanigans when it comes to the money because a lot of the acts, crews and “others” get paid in cash, because no one trusts anyone in the music industry.

  20. How far north from Charlotte are the toll express lanes on I77 these days?

    When The Woods becomes a two hour drive, wheels start to turn in heads that living that far out is possible with a “hybrid” work schedule, 2-3 days a week, and the banksters at places like Bank of America can day trade at home against SEC regulations.

    • Hi Roscoe,

      Yup – all too true. If I am compelled to flee, it will be to an extremely remote/”poor” area, where I can live out my life away from these people, who seem congenitally disposed to turn everything into a McTown, with McJobs and McMansions and all that come with them.

  21. ‘Tens of thousands of potential customers’ — eric

    ‘Customers’ being the operative word.

    Entering the Pickin’ in the Pines festival in Flagstaff, we were confronted with a backpack inspection. Several barrels were already filled with water bottles confiscated from attendees, who then had to replace them with more costly water from vendors within.

    Stealing peoples’ water is an act of calculated, contemptuous hostility.

    We never returned.

    • If the “Pickin in the Pines” festival is anything like the two big bacchanalia -er- “culture” events here in Austin, the last thing the organizers want you to drink is water. Sober, you might realize that the “festival” isn’t worth the hassle or ticket prices.

      • The only events that I attend are the ones that allow us to walk around with guns and holsters and no one blinks an eye. I feel very safe at the local county fairs. The bull rides, tractor pulls, and chicken competitions usually keep the snooty gun control crazies away.

    • Jim,
      Bib overalls are better than back packs. Speaking from experience, one can comfortably carry a six pack of beer in them. Without showing any undue bulges. Other methods also work well, like a photographer’s vest. The best way to avoid a back pack search is don’t carry one.

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