There has been a lot of newsprint lately concerned with the establishment of groups and organizations to come up with ideas to “fix” Rappahannock. We have all been encouraged to join these organizations and have our say about what needs to be fixed or improved.
The fact is, however, a lot of people like things just the way they are. Further, a lot of us are not big joiners or organizers and probably not the best public speakers. Finally, being polite country folk, we are often inclined to keep our opinions to ourselves. Well, no one has ever accused me of having that character trait.
We have a lot of good people in Rappahannock who have moved here from other places. I mean that sincerely. It seems as though they are very happy when they first get here, and they love the open spaces and the slower pace and the friendliness of the people who live here. Then, somehow, the bloom fades and wears thin and they are suddenly struck with the need to fix this place. It seems they can’t work from home quite as conveniently as they could when they lived in Middleburg. Others are upset that the schools here don’t offer varsity and junior varsity croquet like they had in Fairfax and that certainly needs to be fixed.
Sometimes I wonder if it ever occurs to any of these organizers that a lot of folks who live here are quite content with things the way they are. Does it occur to any of these people who want to improve things that somebody is going to have to pay for their improvements, and it is not going to be just those on the improvement committee?
I know some are going to say this is a mean-spirited column that is trying to stir up feelings between the “come heres” and the “been heres.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Change is inevitable. I think most people with two functioning brain cells to rub together realize that. But, is it possible that we might be better off to let things evolve to the point where there is a fair majority of the population that believes that a certain change should be made? Running around like a chicken with its head chopped off looking for things to fix that aren’t broken is not my idea of how change should come about.
Here is a non-intrusive idea for these committees and panels and groups who want to fix Rappahannock County. When you hold your meetings remember that most of the people in attendance are there because they agree with you, and want some sort of change made. In deference to those with a different opinion, please use your imagination.
Just imagine that in the back row there is a fellow sitting quietly and holding a sign. The way he is dressed might lead you to believe he just came in from the hay field. He has on ankle high leather shoes. His face shows the effect of too much time in the sun, and around his brow line there is a light area of skin where his hat shields his head. Quite out of character, he has on a shirt with his name on it. The name above the left breast pocket simply says “Rappahannock County.” There are only three words on his sign. They are not ugly or offensive. They simply say, “Leave me alone.”