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September 04, 2003


Beautifully stated, Bogie. I'm not sure that it's country living that brings helpfulness out in people, though. As I recall, you and WS were just as helpful when you lived in the city. I think that people who are trusting enough to be helpful have a definite edge in life. It's been my impression that such folks enjoy life more. Pity those who are so wrapped up in themselves that they don't see another's need, let alone know what to do about it. Like you, I've found that when I need help, I get it. From friends, from acquaintances, from strangers, help is always there. You, WS, Sis, and Wichi Dude caught the helpfulness bug early in life, thank goodness! Suffer the bug in good health.


I don't know how many times I've heard Flatlanders say "It's so nice up here. We've always thought it would be great to move to the country." Some folks have no understanding what it really means to give up the conveniences of urban living - no pizza delivery, nearest convenience store a 25 minute ride down a muddy dirt road, no garbage pick up, etc. And they've also lost the habit/instinct of neighborliness, as you mentioned. But maybe, just maybe, we can help them to reactivate the neighborliness gene.

Now all we need to do is to teach 'em how to say "You can't get there from here," with a straight face and a good approximation of a N'Hampsha' accent, ayuh.


Cop Car - yeah, but we were raised in the country (or in my case a small town). However, it is true, one of our neighbors came from the "big city" (Nashua) and is very neighborly and trusted by all.

DCE - Not too hard to teach them that phrase, especially when a place is 3 miles away (as the crow flies), but 17 or more miles away by road. True, the accent part is hard to instill.


Thanks for the link, Bogie. My parents moved to Missouri the week after I married. They discovered a neighborhood of northerners who had all moved to an area on Table Rock Lake from Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. It rarely snowed there, but when they had snow or sleet, everyone hunkered down and waited for it to thaw rather than risk the back roads on the hills. The first person out picked up milk, coffee, bread and the papers for the neighborhood. Everyone kept a stock of canned and boxed goods to see them through for a few days, and could count on neighbors for asistance. I don't remember seeing behavior like that when I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago.


When my parents moved to a very rural part of Oregon - about 30 miles outside of Portland - they were surprised by the difference in attitudes.
Everybody helps everybody, like you say.
When the neighbors had one of their cows slaughtered (right there in the front 'yard' - much to my mothers shock n awe), they gave my folks a healthy supply of meat for the freezer...not because my folks asked, "just because" like you said, "we just have too much, take some"
My mom got in to the swing of things easily..she bakes and cans and gives the neighbors some of the fruits of her labors.

James Walsh


Well said, I thoroughly enjoyed your incisive piece on Country Living. Keep up the good work, James


Thanks Jim.

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