Opinion & Editorial

You’re not from around here’

Dear Editor,

“You’re not from around here.”
It’s something we often hear and say when someone new shows up. Funny, most of those who actually say it aren’t from around here themselves.
People come and people go, but it seems that what we call “home” nowadays is different for many.
To me, having been born here – 12 miles away, as were my parents and half my grandparents – I think I’m from around here. But the time it takes to be “from around here” is in serious flux and can range anywhere from yesterday to forever.
However, what does seem to be the same is that someone “not from around here” may be the best champion for trying to keep things the way they were, and that someone “from around here” may also be the biggest threat.
Take some of the larger cities, for example.
Hiring a big city police chief with lots of experience seems like a great way to head off gang activity or drug trafficking. But it seems that it has brought in more of the same issues they wished to head off.
You might even notice many local cities hire big city planners, thinking they know more and have greater experience in growth and handling the bigger issues. Then we find ourselves with public parking for subcompact cars while 30% to 40% of us that drive full-size pickups can no longer park anywhere.
I hear they call that progress.
On the flipside, say we can find ourselves with a mayor that may nearly bury the city, and it’s the guy “not from around here” that saves the day.
We might even get a new local newspaper owner with a different outlook than readers are used to. Sometimes change is good, and a different perspective is what we really need. And all the while, what we’re really looking for is truth and honesty. There may actually be a story there somewhere, and maybe “first names” are a great place to start.
So being “from around here” seems to be something earned not given.

Whyat S. Ocumpaugh



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