Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Barberton - A Rant - What the hell happened??

I have been pondering this update for a long time, since I spent last summer around my old home town, needless to say I was disappointed. Oh not in my many, many friends who went out of their way to see me and allow me to share some time with was sad to see the terrible shape of such a wonderful town, a town that made me!

Maybe it was the point in time but it was a much simpler life in the 50's and 60's and Barberton was the picture perfect place to grow up...low crime, everyone knew everyone, plenty of jobs. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Little League, High School Football games every Friday Night. You could leave your house early in the morning on your bike and as long as you returned by dinner time all was well. Wonder how many miles I put on my bike?

Yesterday evening, I read in the hometown paper about another drug overdose! Call it my trigger warning for finally finishing this rant. Summit County has had over 2000 drug overdoses in the past 12 months...many of those in Barberton and the immediate surrounding areas. I have been thinking about this and reluctant to write it, since I know it will piss a bunch of people off, but I can no longer be silent! As I worked this winter to help the BHS Class of 1968 raise funds to purchase a park bench for Lake Anna, my thoughts were maybe we should be buying Narcan!


Well, we happened...we wanted things to be better for our kids, Spock made us stop spanking, the EPA enacted serious environmental restrictions, the Unions demanded higher wages, NAFTA sent jobs South of the border, OSHA passed restrictive laws to protect us and manufacturing left!

1976 PPG Closed the mines, so many restrictions on Nuclear and Fossil Power Generation that B&W all but shut down, which in turn closed many, many machine shops. The Rubber Industry in Akron and Barberton moved their operations off shore or out of town due to high wages and Union Contracts. There was no longer a need for Vocational Education in our School system so the focus was on sending EVERYONE to college, which does not work, some people are just meant for manufacturing we have a generation of Millenials who were never spanked or taught respect and lack the work ethic that made the "Baby Boomer" generation so successful. Now they have no jobs to go to except service jobs like Subway, McDonalds and Lawn Service jobs, their frustration has lead to finding a happier place with Opiates and Fentanyl!


All of us old Hippies wanted a Happy Place with fewer rules and restrictions and instead we allowed the Government to become a much larger part of our society and create rules to protect us from ourselves and the end result has created a Government that is out of control and certainly now ineffective.

Has some of it been good, sure it has the Cuyahoga River has not caught on fire since 1969 and we have reduced pollution levels by over 60%, OSHA has made what few manufacturing plants safer with less industrial accidents but higher workplace violence? WTF?

The most recent election was a sign of the frustration a large portion of our society feels. The damn Democrats AND Damn Republicans refuse to work together and only continue to line their pockets with our money. We the people are trying to take our government back and get it under control. In order for things to change we all need to demand that our legislators both Democrats and Republicans work together to make things better. Together they can fix healthcare, end the super restrictive EPA (without sacrificing the environment), create a workable immigration policy and reduce the budget to a manageable amount. We have the technology or ability to create the technology to solve all our energy problems, reduce waste in government spending and put America back as the leading manufacturing country in the world, close our borders to illegal drugs and put our kids back to work with meaningful jobs which will in turn eliminate the drug problem in this country. We also need to enact TERM LIMITS!

WE PUT A FRIGGIN MAN ON THE MOON - We can do anything we want, just need to get that attitude back!

The drug problems and decay in my little town are a problem that can be resolved, but it will take all of our involvement to get some manufacturing jobs back in the area! Jobs create money and opportunity and happiness which will overcome the drugs.

I am glad I grew up in Barberton, and it will always be home! We weren't rich financially, but we had all we needed and were afforded the opportunity to have fun, ride our bikes, fish in Portage Lakes, go to TAC, Friday Night Football Games, Tonyo's Pizza, The Varsity Drive Inn, eat Barberton Chicken and most importantly make lifelong friends.

My Dad was a wise man, worked at B&W for 42 years and when I graduated he said, "Son, if you don't do anything in life, get the hell out of Barberton Ohio, because it is a dying town", and that was in 1968! I left and have never looked back, made mistakes, had a great life and now have a pot to piss in and in a happy place.

Now I will post a couple pretty pictures because that is what I do now!

Barberton - Part of America, lest we forget!

Stay tuned for my next rant or update, depending on my mood. Have another month here in the desert before heading North to Montana with a little luck!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Blog Update - The Desert In Bloom

I have been coming to Joshua Tree now for four years and have been anticipating a desert bloom...well with the drought here in California that has not happened...well it has this year. We have had a cold winter with a bunch of rain and the flowers that lay dormant for years and years are now up and blooming...can't wait for the next few weeks!

I have been remiss in posting on my blog and going out and taking pictures for me - have spent most of the winter doing stuff for the park, which is fun...but now as the park winds down and I am here pretty much alone, I will be in the National Park covering the bloom!

This is the "greenest" I have seen the park!

More pics from today!

The yucca and Joshua Trees are a day or so away from popping!

The hillsides are about to come alive with color!

The cactus are just starting to bloom!

Of course there are always the wonderful sunsets in the park - I love this shot!

End of the month so I dug in the freezer and discovered some boneless chicken thighs and dug out the fry daddy!

They were GREAT!

Stay tuned I promise to get in the National Park more often and take my camera!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!