hospital · musings · resources

Death of a Town

The death of a town is often determined by well-intentioned citizens whose vision is brushed by fear rather than colored with possibilities.

Back in the mid 1950’s, two neighboring towns, same size, 30 miles apart, faced a decision about each community’s future.

Cotton farming was the mainstay of both villages, and the 50’s were a rocky and arid time on the Texas south plains. Dryland farmers were losing money, and the economy was in a dive for those laboring to bring bales of cotton to the local gins.

And as financial ruin took top priority in the minds of weary landowners, hesitant bankers, and nervous business owners, all dependent on the success of local farmers, outside forces knocked on the doors of community leaders in both towns.

How about starting a junior college in your community?

Yes, it would mean raising and spending money that seemed a bit scarce at the moment.

Yes, it would change a town.

Yes, it would require local energy and imagination.

No, there were no guarantees of the long or short term outcomes.

How would the citizenery react?

One town said no, the other said yes.

Today, some 60 years later, the towns no longer look alike.

The naysayers left a legacy of declining population, a stagnant business climate, and continued dependence on a struggling market.

The aye-sayers’ legacy has a different face. That city has almost doubled in size, and is vibrant, healthy and econonmically diverse. That junior college has become one of the top schools in Texas, attracting students and educated instructors.

In 1960 they looked alike. In 2019 they don’t resemble each other. Still only 30 miles apart the future for each city’s youth is vastly different.

Those who voted for a cultural change, who were willing to dedicate energy, thought and resources to the future, and who had confidence in tomorrow have reaped great rewards for their children and their children’s children.

Has it been easy? No.

Has it been worth the financial commitments? Yes.

We can hope a positive vision, a willingness to invest in the future, and the determination to overcome fear will guide leaders and citizens in each village across this world. Children in every village deserve a legacy of sustainability, insight, and possibilities.

Do we need to keep a hospital in our town?

Do we need to update our schools?

Do we need to upgrade our community’s water resources, roads, bridges, and services?

All of those things require financial investment and forward thinking guides. We are fortunate our forefathers were such guides and made the commitment to build schools, establish a hospital, and plan for the future.

Will our children be as fortunate?

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Death of a Town

  1. Well done! I think about the college that Lfd turned down often. It’s so sad to think what might have been.

    From: that little voice Reply-To: that little voice Date: Sunday, May 26, 2019 at 8:05 PM To: Paula James Subject: [New post] 15632

    WordPress.com that little voice posted: “The death of a town is often determined by well-intentioned citizens whose vision is brushed by fear rather than colored with possibilities. Back in the mid 1950’s, two neighboring towns, same size, 30 miles apart, faced a decision about each community”

    Like

  2. I don’t need to know these towns to know what the better choice was…
    And side note – heard recently on a show that the 2020’s will have the smallest college aged cohort in many decades – because of the 2007-2008 financial crisis – there were less babies born – further they said that small liberal arts colleges that are scattered across the nation will continue to close and trade schools and public colleges will be the chosen option –
    It was interesting
    But getting back to your post – thanks for the message to take a risk and work at something because a lot of ripples out pour from it

    Like

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