Sunday, January 4, 2009

Life on the Eastern Shore

I guess the thing to do is to break up some of my posts into individual thoughts so folks can comment on specific items. My post today is reflective, given its Sunday. I grew up in rural Somerset County, five miles from the county seat of Princess Anne. All I knew when I was a kid was the fields and woods within walking distance of my house, going to school, and the occasional trip to Princess Anne or the rare trip to Salisbury. The community I grew up in, Mt. Vernon, was small, only a few hundred folks, and vehicle traffic was low. I can remember that a many folks walked from place to place. We had no car when I was growing up, so I walked a lot also, or rode my bike.
Nowadays, cars are everywhere. Nobody walks except for exercise and traffic is really bad. I live near Salisbury now, and there are so many people trying to get into town from the West Side, that I am surprised there are not more accidents. When I was in my late teens, the only traffic jam was near the college when Dresser Wayne let out its afternoon shift and College avenue was jammed with school traffic and worker traffic. Now, a jam is liable to occur anywhere, but College Avenue still seems to be the worst.
I guess its all progress, but I think that every other time I go over to the north end to WalMart, there is a traffic accident on Rt. 13. People drive in seemingly illogical patterns. I guess its like my cousin used to say: Drive like Hell, you'll get there faster. The tradeoff is more shopping selections. 30 years ago, when I was in my early 20's, you had to go to Baltimore or Dover to find a good selection of places to shop. I read a lot, both books and comics then, plus played board wargames, and there was only one bookstore in Salisbury then, plus the racks at drug stores. It was a treat to head up to Baltimore to visit my aunt so Icould hit the Golden Ring Mall (its gone now) which had two bookstores.
Would I trade all these conveniences, plus modern technology like computers and the Internet for the way things were 30 years ago? Boy, what a choice.

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