Get on board or get run over
Out on a Limb
When I moved into this area some 56 years ago, things were dramatically different.
New Castle’s population was around 600, and the main highway ran right through the middle of town.
We had a railroad station, and the passenger train stopped there.
Large herds of sheep and cattle went through town in the spring and the fall.
I even rented a place on Main Street to use for apple packing.
Can you picture farm tractors coming into town hauling apples and semis loading on Main Street?
The locally elected school board hired the principal and teachers with the oversight of the Parent Teachers Association.
There were three Mattivi brothers in town.
Matt had a car repair, Bill had a bar and Pete had a gas station and a Studebaker dealership. When was the last time you saw a Studebaker?
Then Interstate 70 went through and they moved the bridge. Now nothing is the same.
A line from the Rubaiyat comes to mind: “The moving hand writes and having writ, moves on. Nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.”
When you see change coming, you must decide if you can have any influence.
Some changes are misguided or misdirected, and if anticipated, you may be able to stop them.
Other changes are incited by people in authority for selfish reasons for personal profit or maybe a flex of the muscle.
If you aren’t asleep at the switch, you can have some influence on the outcome.
On the other hand, major changes just keep coming.
Population growth continues to force changes in our area, and we just have to wisely deal with them.
When I-70 was coming, the question was, “What the heck are we going to do?”
Well, we had three choices: Number 1, get run over. Number 2, get out of the way. Number 3, get on board.
The historical fact has always been that if you can’t stop the change you have those three options.
For example, when the pioneers began coming to this land the indigenous population couldn’t stop them.
As a consequence there are memorials to those who got run over.
There are reservations for those who got out of the way, and there are many who have embraced the new culture and blended in successfully.
Sometimes the choices are all bad.
If ISIS is taking over, you can run out of the country or to the hills and starve.
You can be killed in the streets or you can convert and join ISIS.
Maybe martyrdom is the best choice.
When I-70 came through, we thought seriously about moving away to a less impacted area.
We also considered just trying to maintain the ranch.
Ultimately, however, we choose to get on board, and Apple Tree Community was born.
In retrospect, we seem to have made the right choice.
In life we will always be confronted with change.
In my life, the change is getting old.
I can’t stop it, so I’ve just decided to play the old guy.
The advantages are discounts, better seating, less responsibility and less harassment.
I am also anticipating where I will spend eternity and with whom.
That is one future change that I can’t afford to get wrong.
You better look at that change now because it could happen suddenly and unexpectedly.
Get on board or get run over.
“Out On A Limb” appears on the first Tuesday of the month. Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle, where he is a business owner.
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