My Little Neighborhood
Back in the mid 1970’s there was this small piece of property in the Ridgeway Community of Warren County known as the Mustian Land which sits just left of Crowders Pond. The original owners decided to divide this land up and develop it into a private subdivision called Mustian Forest with about 15 to 20 home sites. Well as you can imagine, there were the basic county laws and regulations concerning this property, one of which was, that the subdivision was supposed to be governed by a Home Owners Association.
There have been many homeowners come and go over the years, each with their own ideas of country life – some good, others, not so good. We have watched the elderly thrive in the area and we have watched them decline in their later years and the need to move on to something a little more suitable for their needs. We have had many good friends come and go but through it all, it has been a nice little neighborhood.
Fast forward to 2017, to my knowledge, there has never been a HOA established here. Keep in mind that this little loop road (Mustian Rd,) is still dirt and gravel and is not maintained by the state. As you can imagine, this is something to keep up with each year. Between cutting the trees back and keeping the gravel mounded, can be an ongoing and costly task to those who choose to actually work on the road.
Our property was originally purchased as a 10 acre tract of land that was to be used as a small horse farm. Within the first year, a one acre section was divided out and sold off to a family that needed a place to live. Over the years, that family has expanded and children have moved in from “up north”. The Parents (I say parents but they were actually the grandparents) worked to maintain the property and made some improvements over time and established a nice little home site there for their family. Everything was moving along peacefully until……. these kids hit their teenage years and with that comes all of the so-called “fun” things that teenagers these days are doing. Loud music, loud cars, disrespect for others, etc. We have watched these kids grow from being well-behaved toddlers to unruly disrespectful little heathens that have the mindset of a common street thug. I guess it may be the area in which we live or the society of it all but these youth have no moral groundings, no moral fiber to compel them to have respect for others and to look out for someone other than themselves.
There once was a time when these same young boys would come into our yard and play basketball, baseball, tag, hide and seek, explore in the wooded areas with my children. As these boys got older, we started to restrict our children’s involvement with those other children because of the lack of supervision and the recklessness that they were developing. I have always raised my children not to see color but to always try and see the actual real person. I imagine that “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. We watch day in and day out at the many different cars coming and going, bass thumping and strange new faces peering out of the windows as they go by. We have watched our quiet little private dirt road where our kids could once play and have fun, turn in to a speedway, being littered with trash, debris and beer cans. Among the occasional wildlife that visit and live in the area, we now have a new breed of animal living among us.
The other day, and I should point out, that my wife and my 13 year old daughter witnessed what can only be described as a drug deal. A quick hand to hand transaction with glares in all directions to make sure that they were not being spied upon. Then, just like that they were gone, in a matter of seconds. Now I’m not one to judge and what they do to themselves is their own business, but when it comes to this sort of thing happening right outside my front door – then I have to step up and do something – actually my wife beat me to it. Air and opportunity presented itself and she stopped her car and got out to engage the passengers of the other car. Again, as most of you know, my wife has no fear. As she was speaking to one of the occupants, she observed the other passenger dump some marijuana out of the passenger window trying to be as discreet as he could. This in itself is quite hilarious due to the fact that I was once the Drug Agent for this county – I guess my reputation continues to follow me to this day or it could be the fact of my wife’s reputation of “one not to be bullied”. The incident ended without confrontation and these three young men quietly and quickly left the spot where they had pulled off on the side of the road to do their business.
I recognize that there needs to be some resolution to this issue, some sort of clean up if you will, of my little neighborhood, but where to begin.
I was reading an online article about the youth of this generation and the author summed it up with the explanation of what he classified as “Generation iY”. iY is simply younger Millennials born after 1990. Their world is defined by technology and shaped by the Internet— iPod, iBook, iPhone, iChat, iMovie, iPad, and iTunes—and for many of them, life is pretty much about “I,” “Generation Y is the largest generation in American history and the second half of this generation, (i), is measurably different.”
There is also a subculture of that which includes the poorer, less fortunate of our society. These people are born into and governed by their upbringing, their surroundings and circumstances. Back when I was in Law Enforcement, I had accumulated over 300+ drug related arrests, asset forfeitures and countless hours of surveillance, both covert and overt. I witnessed first-hand, those stricken in poverty just trying to survive. These people were hustlers, con-artists, drug dealers, and they did whatever they could to make a dollar, either by hook or by crook. Most of these were genuinely good people but they had to have a means to survive. Unfortunately, due to their circumstances, they chose to be lazy and live in the moment not putting forth the effort to make an honest living. They did what they knew and were taught by their parents and peers. The almighty “quick” dollar was all they could see.
Most of the time, their actions and choices landed them in the interrogation room at the local Police Station or Sheriff’s Office, the court system and eventually in jail for some extended period of time. Whether they learned anything from this or not was questionable due to the fact that they were constantly in and out of trouble from an early age. With the passing of time, these people who I had interactions with back in the day now have children and grandchildren of their own. They now see this new generation coming up with the same struggles that they were faced with and the choices that they are making is nothing new. There is a system, a continuing chain of events that lead down the same path that they were faced with not too long ago.
I recognize that there needs to be a resolution, there needs to be change. The question that I asked earlier of “where to begin” once again came to mind and I realized that the answer was staring at me from the very beginning. If you want to change the world – start in your own back yard!
Will YOU ever unplug and discover your own true identity? Will YOU ever experience the solitude that enables you to think or reflect on your own lives? Will YOU become a generation so connected that you just parrot what your peers are doing and saying in their social network? Or will YOU be the individuals who can think and act on your own without consensus from others and be the ones to break the cycle that has kept so many chained down for so long.