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A dystopian view of Richmond Hill
editor's notes

I get some interesting email, like this lament from a long-time Richmond Hill resident who shall remain nameless.

“I just don’t believe the destruction of RH will slow down. Word is being spread about how wonderful things are here. and those in construction will be headed this way. Wonder what Henry would think? The person that was trying to justify a complete build out here is just wanting to fatten his wallet. What do you end up with? A noisy rat race, an excess of people, cars, McDonalds etc. Just imagine carbon monoxide sirens located throughout Richmond Hill. Tourists issued masks and oxygen tanks so they can continue shopping. On the 1st day of October start eating a lot of local seafood so you will glow in the dark on Halloween night. Democrats and Republicans having a shoot out at the crossroads. Ford Avenue widened to 8 lanes on the top section and 8 on the lower. Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Sam's Club, Staples, Sears Super Store, Juniors Hog Slaughter Plant, Big Bertha’s Brothel, located off Harris Trail Rd. a compound that will handle 1,750,000 illegals funded by George Soros, another 100 fast food stores, 50 additional pharmacies, 40 additional car parts houses, a waste treatment plant that gives off so much heat the area no longer has a winter season and on and on. But be happy. look at all we have.”

There was more, but you get the point.

If not, consider this.

What some label growth, others call destruction. What some label destruction, others call growth.

In a sense, it’s partly that old right to swing your fist thing. That’s the one where you supposedly can swing away and do what you want until you bop somebody else in the nose, because that infringes on his right not to get bopped in the nose. In short, do what you want as long as you don’t bother me.

It’s one problem with managing development. Another is that nobody really manages development. It manages you, or at least, that’s been the case far as I can tell over the last three decades around Coastal Georgia.

But the main problem with development is that without some of it, we’d all be sitting in a bunch of weeds staring at each other. Trouble is, nobody seems to know when to say when.

So, how much development is too much?

Who decides? Do we go by the golden rule, the one where he who has the gold rules? Or do we operate under the one that says do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

Meaning, if you don’t want a 5,000 house subdivision built across the street from where you hang your hat, don’t build one across the street from me. Basically, look at those folks already in the spot before coming in and building all over and around them and then telling them how wonderful it is. Or, if nothing else, save some room (and groundwater) for our great grandkids to build something.

By then they might know how to get it right.

But this was about email.

I get lots of PR pieces disguised as lists from folks who want free advertising for their clients. Sometimes, they’re entertaining. Once, one popped up talking about the five most poor white trash places in Georgia or something - it listed some nearby town, if I recall correctly - and we put it online, which upset some folks who thought it was racist.

Not me, I thought it was funny.

But that’s because I spring from poor white Southern roots, good old mill hill roots, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. That, and I see myself in the mirror every day so I can’t be too important.

Besides, I once turned the back of my pickup into a swimming pool by lining it with plastic trash bags. I parked it in my driveway, filled it up with water, got a cold can of beer and hopped in. Our neighbors, who tend to be more upwardly mobile than me, were aghast. So was my wife, who dresses up to go to the mailbox.

Anyhow,, here’s one of those PR emails. It arrived Wednesday morning with the subject line, “5 things you should never say to rich people.”It comes from a self professed “jet set babe” who offers “luxury lifestyle coaching to women who want to enter the high-society.”

That actually sounds like some people I know, so I’m running the five things as a public service.

1. Don’t ask, “What do you do?”

2. Don’t say things to impress or pretend you’re on their level.

3. Don’t ask questions about their money or possessions.

4. Don’t talk about money or possessions in a negative way.

5. Don’t say, “Nice to meet you.”

Okay then. I won’t.

Be safe, have a great weekend and be nice to kids, old people and pets. And sea turtles, dolphins and chickens, too, if you have time.

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