Not for the first time but hopefully for the last I’ll use this space to correct one of my mistakes. Or two or three of ‘em.
Last week I left out a word, got a location wrong and forgot to decimalize some big numbers, and did all that in just two stories. And that’s what I know I did wrong. There may be more.
Oh, and one could argue I took the wrong angle on a story — the Hyundai water bill one — because frankly while the price tag is high the amount of water that’s going to be pumped from the ground to make electric vehicles is staggering. It may be coming from over in Bulloch County inside the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s “Green Zone” but it’s the same aquifer most of us rely on for water to drink, cook with and bathe in. It flushes our toilets and waters our yards and hydrates a lot of living things hereabouts.
Basically, it’s the same poor aquifer that has been in danger of rampant saltwater intrusion for what seems like most of my career in newspapers. That’s why there’s an EPD yellow zone in the first place, and Bryan County is in it or the county wouldn’t be tapping into wells over in Bulloch County. As a good friend noted, before it’s over we might all be drinking a cup of Ogeechee River Mud in the morning, or something. And yes, my bringing that up now is like closing the barn door after the horse got out and ran all the way to Atlanta.
Anyhow, that’s why it’s time to slow down and step down. Even though I’m only 62, or will be Friday, I increasingly find myself doing dumb things in the paper. I’ve never been God’s Gift to Journalism like some folks I know, but I’ve tried to get things more right than wrong.
Hopefully some time off will help me get my mojo back a bit. Or maybe it’s time to just stick a fork in me. Time will tell, as it usually does.
Onward: Evolution is a thing. So, if people ever start growing antlers and/or horns, I hope they’re color coded. You could have red for Republicans and blue for Democrats, with various hues in between for those of us who see good - and bad and silly - in both ends of that particular spectrum. We could have sparkly ones for cheerleaders and school board chairwomen. Bankers and lawyers and developers would have 12-point antlers with fancy names like “Antler Chase” or “Buckhead.” Weekly newspaper editors might have erasers on the end of theirs to fix all the things they screw up.
And: The folks in charge of the Savannah port are at it again, talking about wanting to grow bigger and better, or something like that.
Do these folks ever drive anywhere? Do they take a spin up 80 into Blitchton, or all the way up 21 into Effingham County? Do they?
The truck traffic generated by the Port now is already what the great Charles Barkley would call “turrible” if he was stuck in it, and it’s only getting worse.
The Jimmy DeLoach extension didn’t do much to shift truck traffic off Highway 80 or anywhere else. And between the dump trucks and the big trucks and the other trucks, it’s as much fun driving from here to there, or there to here, as it is to listen to awful bro-country music or have neighbors with trampolines and 14 squealing kids.
That’s why I kind of hope in the afterlife there will be a special place reserved for developers and big shots and all the rest of the assorted movers and shakers who’ve moved and shook the Coastal Empire into what it’s fast becoming. Which is basically a giant Pooler, if you want to be honest.
I figure in my imagined corner of Valhalla these bigshots will eternally be stuck in a rusted- out minivan full of flatulent teens on Highway 80 with traffic backed up from Blitchton to Faulkville to Macon, and, not only that, the AC won’t work and they’ll really need to use the restroom, only they can’t. That’ll teach them. But back to Pooler.
After watching a couple of candidate forums sponsored by the two political parties in town, it’s interesting that Pembroke candidates don’t want their city to turn into either Pooler or Richmond Hill, and at least one Richmond Hill candidate doesn’t want to see his city turn into Pooler. That’s because Pooler has become the poster child hereabouts of how not to grow to the point you even hear state reps talk about it.
The thing is, you don’t think Pooler folks set out to make Pooler into what it is, do you? I don’t. I think the powers-that-were in Pooler probably thought they had grabbed growth by the dangly bits and had all the developers and folks in it for the money under control.
Turned out it was the other way around. I think that’s the thing about growth. By the time anybody in the middle of it realizes how wrong it’s gone, it’s too late. And with that cheerful thought, I’ll see you next week for one last trip around the horn.