Nothing much has changed in 40 years

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A recent major editorial in your newspaper called “Crazy doesn’t live here, but he visits” ended with the sentence “Sometimes, I’m not sure there’s enough care in the world to fix all the craziness running around these parts.”

I could not have put it better myself. Why do I say so? I think it will be 100 years before any person here does not routinely hear the “N” word. (In a year in Portland, Ore., 20 years ago, I never recall a single instance of hearing that word). I doubt if you polled every single graduate of the Andalusia School System, not a one would even know the first three digits of the two most important numbers of life, the square root of 2 and PI. I could go on and on, but the only redeeming feature is I see that some people have deep religious beliefs and corresponding values.

As a former Naval officer and federal employee, 48 year old male, responsible for more than $2 billion (yes, not million) of highway work, I have visited, at least temporarily, 49 states, the exception being Alaska.

I can tell you a quote that an employee on the phone from his/her office from Covington County told me last week: “You are living in Andalusia, Ala.,, not in the United States.” I’m being totally serious, but the fact is the employee was telling the absolute truth, and I appreciated the honesty. Other than a lieutenant with the Andalusia Police Department (whose name I wished I remembered); his was the first bit of honesty I’ve gotten around here. Well I shouldn’t say that, there are some very honest and gracious merchants here.

In any place in the country I’ve worked in, including extensive stints in Oregon, Washington St., Ohio, D.C., Texas, California, Georgia, Tennessee, – even a year in Montgomery, Ala. – you would never see the stuff you hear and see in Andalusia. How I got here and how I’m going to get out of here is an enigma.

I was here in Andalusia in the 1970s. Has anything changed? Has anything changed here since 40 years ago? (the day before his death, MLK said “We will get to the promised land.”) Nothing I can see has changed.

Very respectfully,

Walter Boyd