Saturday, April 01, 2006


My intention this morning was to take two photographs to illustrate the clash of culture that is occurring in our area. Heavily developed and rural agricultural communities are living side-by-side without a buffer zone of any type. I remember traveling from the open ocean to the inner coastline of Belize, and understanding the importance of the dense Mangrove swamps with buffered the transition between salt and fresh water ecospheres. In culture, as in nature, this buffer zone is important.

I intended an mildly amusing post demonstrating my premise that we are perhaps the only place in the United States where a Coach handbag store.......

stands within 2.5 miles of this scene:

which is Johnsen's Livestock Feed and Supply store - closed on Wednesdays, by the way.

I was running a few errands early so stores at the lifestyle mall were closed when I pulled in front of Coach to snap the photo. What happened next slammed me back into the reality of this culture-encroaching-culture scenario. I sat there for less than two minutes, and one unmarked and one marked security detail approached. I was stunned and pulled away slowly, they followed for quite a distance and then turned away to attend to some other danger, real or imagined.

We have chosen our communities because we value the connection, trust and cooperation that they provide. The advancing development is bringing the opposite - mistrust, crime and suspicion and people who are disconnected. Does crime exist in rural communities? Yes, but rarely in our community and even more rarely committed by someone in our midst. you are not very likely to commit a crime against a man you know, and one whom you might need to depend on for your survival.

The Johnsen's employ a security force also - a big dog that runs out to the roadway and barks at you a bit. There lies the difference and hence there lies the problem for us.


KatKit13 said...

I have to admit your photos made me chuckle, but then the commentary about the mall-cop, made me sad.

What a dichotomy you're dealing with up there.


Tim Rice said...

A sad commentary on current reality.

Sharon Delman said...

In my hometown, moderately upscale stores open . . . and quickly close. So it's much more Livestock & Feed than anything else. Perhaps that's the way it's meant to be. At least the tension is absent.

pablo said...

Actually, this is apropos to what is happening in a certain Middle Eastern nation right now. Not the same scale, of course, but the clash of various conflicting cultures.

Why the clash though? Why is it that was humans seem to need to fight with the different? Why is this almost always our first, unreflective response?

Ah well. A little Sunday morning musing.

Floridacracker said...

Where will the leather for those purses come from after the paving is complete?

Lynne said...

One wonders how many more coach handbag stores -- set in the middle of a vast morass of concrete -- one world needs... But it occurred to me that I have never once uttered, "oh, no - they're building another quaint "ma and pop" stores like Johnsten's Farm & Feed...: canine security detail and all.

Anonymous said...

The same type of thing happened to me at the Danbury (CT) Mall. Except, I egged the Guard on by taking his picture as a walked back to my car. A little excitment for their day.