Dirt Roads!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
By Paul Harvey:
What's mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved. There is not a problem in American today: crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency, that wouldn't be remedied if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character. People who live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride. That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it's worth it, if at the end is home...a loving spouse, happy children and a dog. We wouldn't have near the trouble with our educational system if our children got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other children, from whom they learned how to get along. There was less crime in our streets before they were paved. Criminals didn't walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they'd be welcomed by five barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun. And there were no drive-by-shootings. Our values were better when our roads were worse! People did not worship their cars more than their children, and motorists were more courteous. They didn't tailgate by riding the bumper, or the guy in front would choke you with dust and bust your windshield with rocks. Dirt Roads taught patience. Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly. You didn't hop in your car for a quart of milk; you walked to the barn for your milk. For your mail, you walked to the mailbox. What if it rained and the Dirt Road washed out? That was the best part. Then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony road on Daddy's shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody. At the end of the Dirt Road, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap. Most paved roads lead to trouble; Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole. At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn't some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini. At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck. You'd have to hitch up a team and pull them out. Usually you got a dollar...always you got a new friend..... at the end of a Dirt Road.
-- Sissy Sylvester-Barth (email@example.com), April 11, 2001
Been there, done that, don't wanna go back! Before schools were consolidated, I attended a one-room school about a half mile from home. That wasn't too bad, even though we "had" to go home for lunch while the kids who walked farther brought their lunches. After schools were consolidated, the bus picked us up at 7 a.m. If roads were dry, that is. All winter and most of the spring, we walked 3/4 mile of clay mud to get on the bus at 7, but if we wanted to go a little later, we walked a mile and half to get on a different bus at 8 a.m. When roads were impassable, the car was parked where the clay road ended, but since that was a gravel road and better traveled, we couldn't keep gas in the tank--someone always siphoned it. One of my brothers solved the problem with his car. He kept a 5 gallon gas can behind the front seat and each time he left the car, he siphoned the gas into the can, then locked the car. No thanks, think I'll keep our gravel road!
-- ruth in s.e.Illinois (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 11, 2001.
That line about people worshiping their cars more than their children really struck me. I know two people who just couldn't afford to stay home with their toddlers. There was no way, they just HAD to go back to work to make ends meet. So the kids were dumped in day care for 12 hours a day. Two or three months later both mothers are now driving brand new Ford Expeditions. And one is still crying because she can't afford to stay home with her kid!
-- Pauline (email@example.com), April 12, 2001.
Thank you for bringing that to the forum, Sissy, we enjoyed it. There is alot of truth to it.
-- Wynema Passmore (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 15, 2001.
I'd love to see more dirt roads. It would definitely slow people down. I'd also like to see more horse and buggys on the roads. Bet that would put a crimp in the driveby shooting situation!!
-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), April 15, 2001.
We live off a dirt road, and I sometimes worry that they will be paving it soon. I know that as soon as it is paved, the property around here will be bought up quickly, or housing developers will move in. We also don't have city water, or trash service, so at least that will probably keep the developers at bay for a long time. And our driveway DOES jarr our teeth many times during the year, depending on the last time someone raked out the gravel and leveled it a bit! I've hit my head on the ceiling of the car many, MANY times, and even more times in the truck!
Nancy in WV
-- Nancy in WV (CelticFrau@aol.com), April 18, 2001.
I'll keep the dirt roads. Half of my 1/2 mile dirt road has now become a 2 lane blacktop into a new developement along with city water. The other large track of land next to my place is up forsale, so it's only a matter of time till I"m squeezed out. My property taxes went up 84% this year. They can sell 1.5 ac lots for 109,950. I could always open up a expresso stand and sell to my neighbors!...:)
-- Kent in WA (email@example.com), April 18, 2001.
We live at the end of a 1 mile dirt road, with 2 miles of gravel before that. Sure cuts down on missionary activity! At our last place we were on a dirt road. When the county decided to pave it everyone started driving faster. We lost 4 cats that way. I'll stick with the dirt. God bless!
-- Bonnie (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2001.
I've been researching this, as far as I can tell the Paul Harvey attribution is fake. What I've heard of Paul Harvey on the radio tells me that this piece is very different from his style. The most believable attribution I've found so far is to a journal titled the "Moosehead Messenger" out of Greenville, Maine, see http://www.saintjames.org/sermon000723.html for details. The reason I find this attribution most believable is because it's not trying to take advantage of the name of a famous person! I don't know where it picked up the Paul Harvey attribution; most of the places I found this piece had his name attached. I suspect someone, back in the mists of time and email, was trying to get this piece more widely respected than it would be on its own -- or possibly Paul Harvey read it on his show.
-- Michael J. Bauer (email@example.com), March 26, 2002.