A voice from the wilder­ness

Rappahannock News - - EDITORIAL & OPINION - RICHARD BRADY morelchase­[email protected] 675-3754

There has been a lot of newsprint lately con­cerned with the es­tab­lish­ment of groups and or­ga­ni­za­tions to come up with ideas to “fix” Rap­pa­han­nock. We have all been en­cour­aged to join these or­ga­ni­za­tions and have our say about what needs to be fixed or im­proved.

The fact is, how­ever, a lot of peo­ple like things just the way they are. Fur­ther, a lot of us are not big join­ers or or­ga­niz­ers and prob­a­bly not the best public speak­ers. Fi­nally, be­ing po­lite coun­try folk, we are of­ten in­clined to keep our opin­ions to our­selves. Well, no one has ever ac­cused me of hav­ing that char­ac­ter trait.

We have a lot of good peo­ple in Rap­pa­han­nock who have moved here from other places. I mean that sin­cerely. It seems as though they are very happy when they first get here, and they love the open spa­ces and the slower pace and the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple who live here. Then, some­how, the bloom fades and wears thin and they are sud­denly struck with the need to fix this place. It seems they can’t work from home quite as con­ve­niently as they could when they lived in Middleburg. Oth­ers are up­set that the schools here don’t of­fer var­sity and ju­nior var­sity cro­quet like they had in Fair­fax and that cer­tainly needs to be fixed.

Some­times I won­der if it ever oc­curs to any of these or­ga­niz­ers that a lot of folks who live here are quite con­tent with things the way they are. Does it oc­cur to any of these peo­ple who want to im­prove things that some­body is go­ing to have to pay for their im­prove­ments, and it is not go­ing to be just those on the im­prove­ment com­mit­tee?

I know some are go­ing to say this is a mean-spir­ited col­umn that is try­ing to stir up feel­ings be­tween the “come heres” and the “been heres.” Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Change is in­evitable. I think most peo­ple with two func­tion­ing brain cells to rub to­gether re­al­ize that. But, is it pos­si­ble that we might be bet­ter off to let things evolve to the point where there is a fair ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion that be­lieves that a cer­tain change should be made? Run­ning around like a chicken with its head chopped off look­ing for things to fix that aren’t bro­ken is not my idea of how change should come about.

Here is a non-in­tru­sive idea for these com­mit­tees and pan­els and groups who want to fix Rap­pa­han­nock County. When you hold your meet­ings re­mem­ber that most of the peo­ple in at­ten­dance are there be­cause they agree with you, and want some sort of change made. In def­er­ence to those with a dif­fer­ent opin­ion, please use your imag­i­na­tion.

Just imag­ine that in the back row there is a fel­low sit­ting qui­etly and hold­ing a sign. The way he is dressed might lead you to be­lieve he just came in from the hay field. He has on an­kle high leather shoes. His face shows the ef­fect of too much time in the sun, and around his brow line there is a light area of skin where his hat shields his head. Quite out of char­ac­ter, he has on a shirt with his name on it. The name above the left breast pocket sim­ply says “Rap­pa­han­nock County.” There are only three words on his sign. They are not ugly or of­fen­sive. They sim­ply say, “Leave me alone.”

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