Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I have a cyber friend who lives in England. We got connected because she read my interview with Viggo Mortensen, which appears on my website (www.mariannelove.com). Which reminds me. I've got a new guestbook, thanks to Carlo, the Internet wizard down there at Keokee. Inordinate amounts of spam were showing up right before my eyes, so he fixed me up with a different guestbook. It's got a few entries, but I'll be happy to have more if folks have time to go sign.
Now, back to my Polish friend Ela, who lives in England. She's been writing to me for some time and yesterday sent me a couple of interesting observations, which illustrate that this exploding population thing, and its accompanying fallout, is hardly limited to our North Idaho community. From Ela and others, I've learned this is a national and worldwide trend.
Here's what she had to say yesterday: I've been reading our local paper this morning and you and Sandpoint immediately appeared in my mind. We were talking about the "discovery" of your quiet town and the development that followed this discovery.
The same is happening to Crowborough, where I live. It's a sleepy town in South-East of England. It takes one hour by train to get to London. Some 20,000 people live in this hilly town. I've been here for twenty years now and during that time Crowborough was twice on the national TV.
First - some fifteen years ago, when a group of drunken youth was not allowed into a nightclub and went berserk, and this year - when somebody from Crowborough was arrested in connection with the Securitas depot robbery during which some fifty million pounds were stolen.
So, you can imagine how quiet, in general, life is here. Unfortunately, we've been discovered! The make-over tv is coming to town! The property developers have already started showing their interest in any building-free land or bigger garden. They are talking about bringing
progress and modernity to our town.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Our world is a global village - we may live thousands of miles apart but we face exactly the same problems. Mind you, we always have but with the instant communication we can share the knowledge of it so much quicker.
After I sent Ela a response acknowledging her comments, she sent another thought that totally mirrors another phenomenon we all have been lamenting here.
Her second note: I don't mind sharing this place with others. What unnerves me is the out-of-proportion rise in house prices that follows. It will not affect me but it excludes young people, who've lived their lives in here, from buying their first home in their town.
It's very sad. We complain that the young ones are leaving the town but they can't afford living in it!
So, another universal problem surfaces when the developers take over. Young folks cannot come back home, unless they live with Mom and Dad. I've heard this very statement in my household, and I, too, find it sad, especially because when I was young, the poor people owned most of the land while the wealthy owned the homes in town. Nowadays, young people can afford neither here in Sandpoint.
I guess there's one solution to this problem, but it's gonna take time and patience on the part of our kids and their contemporaries. Eventually, many folks living in those houses are going to die, leaving empty homes, waiting for someone to come and live in them.
But, then again, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. I forgot that we're living in the throwaway era, where when it's used up, get rid of it. It could very well be that those $400,000 homes we see popping up all over the place will become outdated before their inhabitants do. And, someone will tear them down on the spot, burn them and build bigger McMansions which cost even more money.
I guess we have some global issues to solve, and they're not just about world peace.