he not busy being born is busy dying

Last week my sister and I visited our hometown for the stated reason of checking on our mother’s well being. At least that was the excuse I used. We actually did perform our ‘due diligence’ looking into her health, finances and general state of mind. Another reason was to attend our high school’s homecoming game and visit a few folks we grew up with. It was also my sister’s 30th high school reunion so she was off on her own quite a bit with all the festivities. During my alone time I walked for several hours around the town I once roamed decades ago mainly on foot or bike until I earned my driver’s license.

Although founded in the early 1800s and developed into a tourist resort thru the 19th century, the town as I recall it was mostly built during the early to mid 20th century.
This was also the first time I’d visited since passing the 50 year mark (I’m 51). I began to notice things I don’t recall ever seeing. I described it to one person afterward as watching something you care for very much as it dies. Northeast Florida’s sub-tropical climate seems to have worn out all the familiar homes and buildings. They seem limp and weak, covered with vegetation or mildew. Although the weather cooperated I encountered few other pedestrians out on business or pleasure. The downtown shopping area, like too many other small towns, is almost dead. Probably due to the Wal-Mart 12 miles up the road.

Stopping to chat with one newer resident now living in (and having renovated) a house just three doors down from where I grew up, they mentioned  in five years the town would be completely different from the way it is now. In order to survive and thrive I have to agree. I could cite many examples with evidence that the town has been slowly dying since the early 1960s. I hope I live long enough to see its rebirth.


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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4 Responses to he not busy being born is busy dying

  1. That must have been a surreal experience.

  2. cwmackowski says:

    How big is the town now? How does that compare to its population when you were younger?

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