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The Press Box For May 27

May 27, 2020
Ed Parsons - Editor , Tyler Star News

Whoa, ah, mercy mercy me, oh things ain't what they use to be, where did all the blue skies go? Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east. Whoa mercy, mercy me, oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury. Ah, oh mercy, mercy me, ah things ain't what they used to be, no no, radiation under ground and in the sky. Animals and birds who live nearby are dying. What about this overcrowded land. How much more abuse from man can she stand?

The above song was recorded in the 1960's. That's 50 some years ago, but it was right on.

I started out in life in a relatively large city, but moved to a very small town (population 3,500) to spend my school years. I still live here, however I have some experience with both. I have some very good experiences and fond memories of my small town days.

They are far enough back that I don't remember them all, however, as children we were totally "free range" then, and so we could play and wander everywhere in our small town. It was a very safe place, and good for a lot of the experiential learning that is so important for young people.

We had and still have very good schools, much more than adequate, there have been some very bright people of every age here and the opportunities for enrichment outside of school is not limited by the size of the community. I joined the band in middle school with my only single lessons coming from what my mother and grandmother taught me.

That wouldn't have happened in the big city, and participation in the school band would have been out of the question as others would have been much more prepared and proficient than I was. So the small town environment was better suited for myself and many others. We were fortunate to be able to make the ball teams without being cut. In the big city you didn't even get a try out unless you had visible talent.

The competition is a lot tougher in big city schools and you really have to step it up in high school in the city if you're going to do well. The person who might be the valedictorian in a small high school could very well find themselves far back in the class rankings in a big city school.

Of course, these days small towns are not what they use to be. Although they are still much safer than the big cities. Free range is now a distant memory. You can't just turn your kids loose on the streets and expect everything to be fine and dandy. There is far more danger on the streets than meets the eye.

While at the present time we are unsure what the remainder of 2020 will bring, we can look back at what it once was. Playing pickup ball on the playground, games like hide and seek, kickball, just running the streets and hanging out. Those were all normal facets of our lives, every small town was like that. We didn't worry about our drinking water; when we needed a drink we could open the outside faucet and get a drink. Most families only had one vehicle so traffic was not a big problem. That's why kids could safely play in the streets.

Summer time was a big deal. Three months away from school, a time to relax, go swimming, fishing, play ball, take family vacations, hang out late into the night. And just enjoy the free time with no fears. It was a time we shall never see again.

Things really aren't what they use to be! Kids still want to have fun, however the fear of everything has changed us forever. We are watching with our very own eyes a free nation quickly becoming a police state where our lives are controlled by the thinking of others.

I am not talking about what's happening with the corona-virus alone. I am talking about manipulation of our minds and the way we think when it comes to freedom.

I have never witnessed anything like this, and for that reason I really don't know how to react. We are being told what we can do and when and how we can do it. We are limited to where we can go and what we can allow our own family members to do, especially our kids. I am upset that for the first time in my life, school was canceled. High school sports were canceled. Higher education came to a halt and pro and collegiate sports stopped dead in their tracks.

I don't like staying at home; I like eating out in restaurants, I like going on vacation, I like visiting friends and relatives, I like taking long rides, I like going shopping, I like staying in nice hotels and cabins in places like Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. I love going to work and interacting with co-workers and other people.

However, these things just don't seem as important as they use to. I want to stay safe, to social distance, to limit exposure to others and to protect myself and family as much as possible from the virus and infection. It's the new way of life. How long it will last we don't know, but for now we just take each day one at a time and thank the Lord.

Oh no, mercy mercy me, things ain't what they use to be--! where did all the blue skies go? Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.

eparsons@tylerstarnew.com

 
 
 

 

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