Wal-Mart = Urban Sprawl

I moved out to the country in part so I could see the stars at night. Remember stars? They speak of the glory of God, don’t they?

I moved out to the country so I could see real songbird, the bluebirds and spring warblers. Herons come to my pond.

I moved out to the country because I wanted to raise my son in a place less dominated by American consumerism. I wanted him to see what the world looked like before it got taken over by shopping malls, gaudy retail signs, and traffic lights.

There’s a beauty and innocence in the country that you can’t find any place else. That feel of rural America can’t be replaced once its gone. Yet the rampage of urban sprawl eats up of the wide open spaces faster than you can say, “Low, low prices!”

But some things can’t be bought and sold. Once the stars are gone, how do we get them back? Once the songbirds have been driven away by the starlings and house sparrows that accompany urban sprawl, what will bring them back?

Once our town has been converted into just another ugly, harried, homogeneous piece of sprawl, how do we cope?

We already know that a Kroger Marketplace store is coming. With Wal-Mart, that makes two monster retail stores in a town of 3,000 people.

Someone will certainly make tons of money off the deal, but most of us will be losers in the end. With five Wal-Mart stores already within a half hour’s drive, why would we possibly want to kiss all the good things we have goodbye and bring just another chunk of diseased sprawl to our town?

Remember: you never appreciate what you have until they take it away.

12 thoughts on “Wal-Mart = Urban Sprawl

  1. Where there is demand supply will follow. I live in Eastgate and drive 1/2 an hour to Mt. Orab to work every day. Why don’t I live in Mt. Orab? Primarily because there is very little infrastructure to support my daily purchases. If I want to buy a product in Mt. Orab my choices are limited to a handful of stores. There is little competition between stores therefore the prices are typically high. Kroger helped a lot but now so many people demand products from Mt. Orab Kroger that they are planning on building a larger Kroger! So yes there is demand for Wal-Mart in Mt. Orab and all the “Urban Sprawl” that comes with it. When they build a Wal-Mart, new bigger Kroger, Larosas Pizza, O’Reilly Auto Parts, strip malls, etc. I will then think about moving to Mt. Orab.

  2. Kurt,

    Your reply astonishes me. Honestly.

    I’m blown away that people cannot appreciate a place for what it has. They want to drag with them so-called “conveniences” and make the once nice place into just more urban/suburban blight.

    Right now, a barred owl is calling outside my window. When this entire area is a strip mall, so much for the owl.

    You may not appreciate that owl, but I do. I came out here to get away from strip malls and tacky consumerism and this “let’s pave it all over so we can be comfortable” crap. That strip mall mentality is what is killing our country and most people are too blind to see it.

    Five Wal-Mart SuperCenters exist within a half hour’s drive of Mt. Orab. We don’t need another one.

    As for reading material, I suggest you pick up Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. Seriously. Think about it some. Then think about it some more.

  3. As a man who was born and raised in Mt. Orab, I just want to say that I have a problem with all of the “out of towners” setting up residence in this area. That includes the fool(s) that established this site.

    Go back to wherever it is you came from, sir or madam. These folks who keep heading east are the reason we (as in the people who were born here, like their fathers and fathers’ fathers) have to deal with the very things this website’s author complains about. You are part of the problem!

  4. Mr. G&W,

    Some out-of-towners came here to pursue the same lifestyle that drove this town for years, farming. No, I am not a native of Mount Orab, but I bought a long-existing property that was a farm that I will continue to farm. I understand what Mount Orab has stood for in the past and wish to see that preserved, just as you yourself seem to support. For this reason, I’m not sure how I am part of the problem or the “fool” you paint me to be.

    What is bothersome is the suburbanization of Mount Orab, that it become just another slice of homogenized, strip-malled America, as if that’s a positive thing. If people cannot appreciate the heritage and values of the place they move into, then they should consider living elsewhere. Dragging sprawl and consumerism into a place that has been resisting it n the past is not the way to better our town.

    Let me ask this: If you don’t want more “out-of-towners” here, then are you supporting a new Wal-Mart or are you against it? If you are for it, I hardly see how that support will keep out the very people you oppose. Instead, it would only attract more. If you are against the new Wal-Mart, then how can you join in and help us prevent it from coming to town?

  5. To Mr. Game and Watch,

    Your argument raises an interesting point. Who were the people living on this land before your father’s father? Go back a few more generations. Think, and you’ll find the answer: the indiginous people of the Southern Ohio valley – the native Americans, or Indians. They are the only ones who could legitimately make the argument you make. However, they were driven from this area. So many of them were killed that there are no longer even enough descedents to warrant a demographic presence. They don’t get a say on the Walmart issue because their descendents are all dead or long ago driven out.

    Given their annihilation at the hands of Euro-Americans (because you must remember, before they were Americans, they were Europeans… we Americans didn’t spontaneously generate on North American soil…we all, like this “outsider” neighbor you seem to hold in contempt, came from other places…your ancesto, like mine, have done exactly what your “outsider” neighbor has done) shouldn’t we take into consideration the values of the people who originally lived on the land? That is your argument, correct? In that case, the Native American value system is something to consider in this process.

    The native inhabitants of this region valued simplicity in life. They held a deep seated appreciation for the natural world. The very ideology that threatened and inflicted damage upon their way of life is much the same one that claims people need convenience items and a never-ending increase in goods and income. I see great wisdom in the ways of some of the native people. And I see wisdom in any concerned citizen who simply wants to enjoy what is beautiful, gracious, and sacred about our world.

    Before you talk about who was here first, you might stop and consider who WAS here first. And then maybe you’ll have the bravery to look at there being a way of life that has nothing to do with who was here first, but rather looks instead at who is your neighbor right now in this moment…that neighbor whom we should love as ourselves no matter what… no matter who was here first. Our neighbor’s concerns are our own concerns. There is no difference between us. We are all in this life together. It is only an arrogant illusion that one is better than or different from the other. As this dialogue continues, I invite people to consider a way to communicate that does not include just choosing sides but goes on to offer ways to understand each other.

    In that spirit, I ask all of you: the decision we must make has to do with what is important to us in the long run. It has to do with what is important to me in this moment. Is it the item I buy, or the time I have to enjoy that item? Is it the thing I know or the thing that I may learn from those around me? Is it being right or being in a community in which people hold each person in higher esteem than we hold ourselves? Is it the inherent value and enjoyment of the work I do or how much profit I might gain by it? These are the kinds of questions that make up the marrow of life, and each person comes to the answers on their own. No one can answer such questions for another person. But we CAN talk to each other, take time to listen to everyone’s answers, and then imagine a world in which it is better to be whole than to be “right.”

    This is what I believe we should be thinking about when we talk about a Walmart coming to Mount Orab.

  6. People in Brown County have been clamoring for retail, fast food, etc for as long as I can remember. I can remember when the McDonald’s went in in Georgetown back in like 1985. It was like a holiday! Cops were our directing traffic, the then Mayor of Gtown was even a manager at the place. It was like the County was finally being recognized as being served in the same manner as their suburban and city friends. I can’t think of one Brown Countian who complained at that time.
    The problem with this blog is the author considers Brown Countians as being beneth him, and he can in no way understand how the “rubes” can be snookered into wanting one of those new fangled big city Wal Mart stores. The people of this area have been wanting this for as long as I can remeber, so get used to it.
    As for seeing the stars, I am sure there are plenty of more remote areas of the County to which you can move. I’m sure you can see all the stars you want over in Decatur or down around Higginsport. Or even better yet, move to Adams County, but watch out….West Union has a Wal-Mart!

  7. Mak,

    Your response has me shaking my head in utter disbelief. You would turn this town into just another homogenized strip mall hellhole and be happy for it. Unbelievable.

    There are five Wal-Marts within a half hour’s drive of Mt. Orab. A half hour. yet you would rather we blot out the stars and roast all the wildlife here over a spit just to have more garbage from China. I say it again, Unbelievable.

    I guess when they cut down the last tree on this planet to make way for the final strip mall, you’ll be there with your chain saw.


  8. Mak,

    You must not be reading my responses to your previous posts. You took me to task over the gun issue and then failed to respond when I said I was an NRA supporter who votes even more conservative than the GOP. Many very conservative people think Wal-Mart is not good for small communities. And no amount of money could get me to vote for Obama.

    As much as you seem to love Wal-Mart and their communist China connection, I gotta wonder just where your sympathies lie.

  9. You guys are looking at it wrong. You can’t fight these idiots with law. They own it. You have to scare them with something they can’t control.

  10. Yeah, everyone hates low prices, lower unemployment, lower inflation, increased income, and better schools resulting from an increase in tax payers from sprawl. As for you stars and birds . . . I am sure there are thousands within a “half hour drive”.

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