Yesterday, I took the time to spell out what has happened to me in the hast eight years. A fateful choice to decide I was sick of Virginia, and wanted to be someplace different, where people cared about each other. I had this novel idea about the people of Appalachia. See, I had always understood the people here to be kind hearted, solitary people. Basically, they helped each other, but otherwise wanted to be left to their own devices, which in turn meant you were left to your own devices. If you didn't bother someone, they didn't bother you.
To be fair, I have met many people like that, and I get along with those people. But I also found, and this is likely to the counties I have resided in, that others are not, these other people tend to gossip about people and constantly meddle in other peoples business. Sadly those who are not seem to outnumber those who are. Which is a shame, because this state, West Virginia is a very beautify place (look at the picture and tell me otherwise). Even the places that have been raped by the coal industry have a beauty to them that you are hard pressed to find. The land is nice here, but many of the people I have met are not, its like a blight on this place. But most of humanity is a blight on the beauty of this world. Oh how I wish there were worlds other than this, that I could escape to.
The general attitude is one I have heard from people when discussing the problems with this nation, or making drastic changes. "If you don't like it here, leave". The problem is, I live here, and if not for the stunning horrible ignorance that runs wild through these hills, it would be an awesome place. But sadly, people like that get their way, more often than not, and they are worse for their desire. See, things change, they always do, and they will change if you want them or not.
Sometimes things change unseen, not always for the better. The problem here is that there is a strong resistance to change. People here are very conservative at heart. They do not wish to see change in the way they live, but they want things to improve. Torn and disheartened they are, because they want things to get better, but they want to keep things the way they were at the same time. It doesn't work.
When I first moved here with my parents, and my farm, I wanted to help the people here. I wanted to ensure that they had good jobs, and any man or woman who worked at our farm was paid, and paid well. Double what they would make working at most public jobs here. An employee received a bonus for a years work that included a new truck, not a new to him truck, but a brand new Dodge Ram, because he needed decent transportation for his mother. He sold that truck to a co-worker, and we helped repair it.
But I bring these things up, partly to remember what I once had, but also to show how spectacularly someone can fall in life. The stories I can share are all I have. Ole Boss butting Steve Irwin in the groin, because he wanted to show kids just how beautiful my big baby really was as a calf. Cuddles, my bird cussing out, followed by her attempt at laughter, to a former employee. She even attempted to flick him off after he flicked her off, sadly birds cannot rotate their wrists like we can, but it was a good try. A stray dog following me home from the local dive that I took the time to feed (it was only a quarter mile). People dumping cats and kittens with such a frequency that even the ASPCA wouldn't respond to our calls. A farm hand's wife bitching about him having alpaca footprints down his back and legs, which was funny because of the way she said it. Another farm hand getting "fagged out" to the cook at the local dive, and her saying she enjoyed sleeping with women, and the return shot of the man telling the cashier at KFC about the other guy running around on his sister with all those kids (which half the neighborhood was in the back of the truck). Poor Dennis being asked to get heavy duty tampons for his wife, and asking for the kind that last seven days... And this old lady telling me his wife was a nasty...
See, I had some really interesting and funny times on the farm. Me working security was good at times as well. The pay sucked, but the supervisor Billie made it interesting. Frank, her husband checking in on us at times was also funny. "You asleep?" he would ask, of course after the third of fourth time he did that, I simply responded with moans of brains, which he laughed about. We had chronic, which had nothing to do with weed, and Billie's classic response of.. "I don't want to see that shit". I miss ole Billie. I miss Warren as well. Two of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. If either were still alive, I would not be sitting here, I can promise you that. Mickey is also an alright stand up guy as well. To be honest, the bulk of the people I worked with at that crap job were cool guys, including Adam "Al" Snow. I really wanted to hang a mannequin head up in the guard shack for him. You have people like Ronnie and Betty, who do many things.
See people like Ronnie, Betty, Frank, Cliff, Tommy, and others, they have been to the bottom of the barrel, they understand what it is to tarp a roof because you cannot afford to fix it. They know what it is to not be able to buy a trinket from a dollar store for their kids. And if possible, they would be the first in line to get me out of this mess. But that is the problem, they cannot. They have so many issues of their own, and many of them (outside of Billie and Warren), they are coming very close to where I am. Ronnie and Betty owned their own business at one time, just as I did, but Ronnie was forced into the same line of work that I came to years later.
See life is very fleeting. Like Ronnie and Betty, I went from the middle of the ladder to the bottom. Ronnie and Betty, after nearly a decade have gotten to a decent place. It is not the best, but it is decent. If I had the money, they would be in a very good place. If Billie and Warren were still with us, they would be as well. If I could help Tommy, Cliff and the others, I would, because while they have flaws, they are good people. That is yet another problem.
I often hear people talking about, why should I help others, they should pull their own weight. And yes, to some extent people should be able to take care of themselves, people should plan ahead for problems that might arise. I can dig that. But more of me feels as if we are to survive as a race, we need to also take the time to help each other. If that means covering welfare, or medical insurance, its not that big of a price to ensure your fellow man is eating and in decent health. Sure, you can teach a man to fish, but if he cannot acquire the gear because your obligation ended at teaching him, he will still go hungry.
As for me, to get out of this mess I am in, I need help. I do not need prayers, I need people to step forward and help. Sure, money helps, and you know everyone can use money. I have always asked that people share this blog, they share what they know about me, they share what happened to me. See, help comes in many forms, from the attorney who said I will take your case to court to Betty helping me get my transcripts to get a paying job that lasted more than a few days. Sometimes a kind word (+Larry Dillon) helps, but passing the story down the line helps more. More often than not, it is all we can do to help someone. Pass it along, the more it gets passed, the more it gets noticed, and before you know it a movement has started. Where would Rosa Parks have gotten if others had not stood up for her? Where would this nation be if the Founding fathers had not stood up for the majority? Where would the Native Americans and Jews be today if people in early America and Germany had stood up for them?
We could end poverty and homelessness tomorrow if people stood up against it. We could end racism, and homophobia in years, if people would stand up against the racists and homophobes. But until we all unite against these things, they will continue to occur. Businesses will continue to pay low wages, poverty and homelessness will continue until we finally tell people in Washington or wherever they are based that we have had enough of this poor treatment for our fellow man. But that is something I doubt people are really ready to do. That is the real tragedy of where I sit in this world. People just do not care enough about their fellow man. They will only care when it affects them, and by then, all the people who could have, would have helped them will be gone.