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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Out Walking

We were out for the Veteran’s Day commemoration last weekend. The toddler likes to roam, of course, and I spent the greater part of an hour with his hot little hand in mine, wandering around.

Marion is a pleasant place to do that wandering around. It is a village, and there is a little rabbit warren of streets where you can promenade, with no shortage of things at look at, whatever the season. But for such a compact place, it’s kind of desolate. There are mostly no people about. We have walked around the village for a pleasant half hour many times, and more often than not never encountered another person on the street.

People often remark that they find suburbia stultifying, and dream of a village setting for their affairs. Walk places. Bicycling without risking being mashed flat by a semi. A bit of bustle, without crowding. Sidewalks and gnarly overhanging trees and rhododendrons in bloom and chipmunks darting in and out of voids in the dry laid stone walls.

Well, you’re all full of merde. I live in such a place, and I really do enjoy it, and I’m all alone. Everybody’s driving around or watching television while we’re out walking. It’s fine to have nebulous ideas about the kind of life you’d prefer, and the wilderness you’d like to inhabit, or perhaps the sleepy pace of life you could see yourself slip right into, but there’s reasons we don’t all live like that. We’re not all on vacation or retired, are we? Or odd, like me.

People vote with their feet — if you let them. If you want to move to a sleepy little town, you should. I did. But there is no Dunkin’ Donuts. There are no restaurants of note. There is no movie theater. There is no…

Never mind what it doesn’t have. I can just walk through it, and point the camera at anything. I often do.

4 Responses

  1. You know, for all the scorn that is heaped on the 1950s, mostly what people are trying to recreate is really just their own version of Mayberry.

  2. I have two friends at work who commute from the real Mayberry: Mount Airy, NC.

    I grew up in smalltown America and it really shaped me.

    Excellent post, per usual, Sip.

  3. Thanks.

    If there has ever been a more humane vision of life in America than The Andy Griffith Show, I haven’t seen it. My children like to watch it too. We have some on discs.

    It really well done; and hands down, there has never been better music on television.

    Briscoe Darling and his boys play, and Andy accompanies them. When the frantic bluegrass reel is done, Andy says: Good! Extra good!


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