you ain't no kind of man...

...if you ain't got land. So spake Danny Glover's character in Silverado. I think he was right, at least in part. To me, wealth in the land you own is infinitely more valuable and defining than hard cash or stock options. Which is why Eminent Domain makes my skin crawl. Sure--the government will reimburse you for your loss. Sorry there's a highway running through your orchard, but here's a few thousand to ease the pain. This is, methinks, a pretty clear case of someone knowing the price, but not the cost. How can money mend the heartache of seeing something you've known and loved taken and changed unalterably? Memories cannot be bought, love is not purchasable. When you grow up or grow old with the land, the loss of it is beyond price. At that point, the idea of someone thinking they could make good the loss is almost insulting. There is a country road just two miles from my home that is going to be turned into a four lane highway sometime soon. Apparently our good representatives in the State legislature felt that the convenience of four lanes just couldn't be passed up. So those who live on either side of that road will bid farewell to ancient apple trees, blueberries, and other irreplaceable landmarks so that the devilishly impatient denizens of Battle Ground can whiz along to the freeway with even more reckless abandon. And don't worry! Not only will this be more convenient, the land "owners" whose land is being appropriated by the Department of Transportation will be compensated in full. I don't think the good folks in charge of this project have the faintest idea of what the cost will really be. In the words of the fantastically sarcastic Dirty Harry: "Marvelous."


Sarah S. said...

I weep for you...I deeply sympathize.

But is 219th really "a country road" at this point?

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