Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The View From My Front Porch

I live in California.

The town I live in has a sign when you drive into the city limits that says, "Land Of Peaches And Cream".

I can agree with that. We're surrounded by dairy, almond and stone fruit farms. The police station closes at 5pm, and the firemen hang out in front of the firehouse chatting with passers-by. American flags still fly daily on many homes, and on appropriate holidays even more make an appearance.

Kids frequently play unsupervised in local parks, and still ride their bikes in the long summer twilight. Around 10PM, most everything except a couple of local eateries and the bar have long shuttered their windows, their proprietors retiring for the evening.

People stroll about, many walking dogs. Most are friendly enough to wave or greet you. The ones that aren't, well you can tell that they're "The Blue Meanies". The bumper stickers and rainbow flags tell the story that their scowls and silence confirm.

We're one of those areas that are short on population compared to metropolitan areas like the San Francisco Bay Area, and we always show as one of those "Red" counties during elections. You know the ones Liberals love to demonize and ridicule.

The city manager has been interviewed in the local paper, and he has confirmed that the city's expected revenue has declined, and will continue to decline as the economy continues to suffer. He said there wasn't anything to be concerned about. The city is comfortable, and there are no plans on cutting services or jobs, although there is a moratorium on new hiring. Things are comfortable enough for the city to build the new city hall and police station. Two items this town needed desperately.

The fire department was able to get some new lifesaving equipment. Our community supported ambulance service (everyone pays a $25.00 per year membership) was able to also buy new equipment thanks to some generous donations from people in the community.

So, I sit here on my front porch looking at my wife's collection of Lilies, listening to the placid splashing of the fountain. I'm contemplating the Chinese Wisteria which has wrapped itself around the porch, ensconcing me in its shady shelter and wondering how long until the seed pods explode.

Yep, for an area often ridiculed for being full of "mean spirited Conservatives", things look pretty good. Even the transplanted "Blue Meanies" from the Bay Area are probably glad that things here are so conservative. Our home values, while taking a hit, haven't collapsed like in neighboring areas.

Not like the state as a whole where the financial tidal wave of debt will soon drown many who have lived the high life at the expense of us lowly, "mean spirited Conservatives" who slaved every day to pay "our fair share" which was frequently much more than "fair" or even "our share". The tax, spend, finance the debt with more spending days are over.

I hope they enjoyed the party.

They're going to have one hell of a hangover.

The after party fights that we so often associate with Super Bowls, NBA Championships, and Hockey Playoffs have started to materialize.

You may want to make some popcorn and sit back and relax in front of the TV. This is going to be better than any pay-per-view fight ever televised.

Public Safety vs. Social Services in San Francisco

Special Interest Groups Battle At City Hall

Los Angeles HIV groups decry budget cuts.

LA Teacher Layoffs

LA Lacks Money For Lakers Parade

Lobbyists Advocate Higher Taxes (sure, as even more businesses and people leave the state)


Anonymous said...

What town is that?

You just described where I want to retire.

TEAM HALL said...

Catman!! I can have the van packed in less than 30 I make a left or right at Albuquerque?

Catman said...


The town is called Escalon.


I don't know if its a left or right, I think it depends on which way you're coming from! :-)

zwick said...

What a difference from where I live, or rather, where I exist. Heavily armed and armored police cruise by with stern,determined looks on their faces. On the street almost nobody looks up as they walk. No smiles, or greetings, except with various ethnic groups to each other. The yards are unkempt and some are littered with a seemingly permanent collection of beer cans, whiskey nippers, fast food bags and candy wrappers. Out of the open windows of cars and apartments is the continual blare of rap music, played at maximum volume. The only flags are the Puerto Rican and black nationalist colors. All services are being cut, with the police being in the first to go. During the day one hear sirens so often one hardly notices, but at night the sirens are puncuated with the distant sound of small arms fire. 10 years ago I still lived a long way from the blight. But now it's closer and closer. HUD provided mortgages for people to move in my neighborhood who had no way to ever get nice houses like that in a sane world. Now the houses are trashed and abandoned. What I've described is real, I live in it. It's a staunch blue state which lives by the liberal motto-"From him who is able: To him who is useless".This place will be a slaughterhouse when TSHTF. And yes, I'm moving. It just frosts my ass that I have to leave, to escape, or as I say often: to evacuate.I hate leaving my elderly neighbors behind, most of whom lived here all their lives, to a fate worse than death, literally. This is what happens to a land where there is no honor and no shame.

HermitJim said...

Hey Catman...
I just love the mental image I got from your description, my friend! That's what small town America should be about, no doubt!

Thanks for the very pleasant front porch moment!

Catman said...


I've been to places like that, and still service areas like that. Oakland, San Francisco, Richmond California.

Yeah. It isn't pretty. I can empathize with "evacuate". I hope you can find a piece of "peace" soon.


Small town America. I hope this is what this nation gets back to, and soon. Its where her soul still lives. Thanks for the kind words.

Ken said...

...sounds like a fantastic place,i can see it in my minds eye...funny as it may seem,i couldn't picture 'smalltown America' in California,until now...thanx Brother,but we still want you and the Mrs in

Sanjac said...

I used to go through Escalon on my way to 108/Kennedy Meadows to go backpacking. It's nice to hear the crap hasn't made it all the way out there yet. My parent's moved from Fremont to the Oakdale side of Modesto back in 2001 to get away from all the "progress". I bugged out to Texas the same year. It must be nice to get home after venturing to the Bay Area.

ErinAndBrad said...

Catman - that is America as she should be. Sounds delightful and peaceful. Our town is still small - we live about a mile out of it - most people still friendly but very nibby! That is why we moved to the country 4 years ago - felt like we were living in a fishbowl.

I get that way too and look at everything around me and think this will be trashed soon and it makes see almost sick but I know it is coming soon and I want to make some memories - good ones - to last the rest of my life how ever long that may be.

Thank you for the nice blog!

Catman said...


If we can, we will join you down in Dixie!


Oakdale, still a nice place but experiencing growing pains. Yeah, the wife and I used to live in Morgan Hill, but that place went from cowboy country to yuppieville in no time.


I think small town America will survive and be the source for renewal. Good memories are always a good cushion for when things get way out of whack.