March 6, 2023

By Arthur H. Gunther III

     On an early morning run in the Northeast, about 6, before the suburban/urban beings start their engines and rev up for the endless trips to shopping strips, the time is mine, and I relish the nearly empty roads and the rising sun on dew that recalls the wet blankets of our former farms, now sprouting development.

     It is both a blessing and a bit of a downer that I was born and raised as third generation in what was once country, hearing neighborhood roosters in morning call and the clang of bottles in the milkman’s metal carrier. Those sounds were the alarm clocks of the day, now replaced by remote-start F250s warming seats and steering wheels on the long, long streets of bi-levels and colonials.

      It makes you wish for the past, which is the  albatross of one born under the Scorpio sign. But it is also a respectful nod to quieter times, even more silent in my father’s day in my land, more so in my grandfather’s.

     Yet “progress” cannot be denied for it offers opportunity for others to escape greater environmental confinement and have their moment, too. I must not be fully selfish.

     But in freedom of speech and since I do not mince words, “progress” should not be “paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.” Joni Mitchell sang the song of hurried growth to us. We have not listened.

     It is all in the planning, which is simply the barricade against greed growth that fills in floodplains and increases housing density, all the while under the false promise of more tax ratables and lower rents/home prices because of greater supply. Ain’t gonna happen; never did. Instead, costs rise and the parking lot gets bigger.

     So, in the early morning I will get up and go on the coffee run, left alone in my memories of a rural time, thank you.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman.