Youngstown can’t get respect
When I was a kid, I remember one of my older cousins wearing at T-shirt that said on the front, “Where the hell is Youngstown?” The back of the shirt said, “Who the hell cares!” I think it was around the same time that some famous guy named Orson Bean told Johnny Carson on national television that he didn’t think that Youngstown even existed. I never understood why anyone would be down on my hometown enough to publicly denounce it like that.
When I shop at most stores I pay with a credit card that provides some kind of reward for using it. Since moving back to Youngstown from California, I find the comments of most store clerks disturbing. Whenever they hold up my license to match my face with the picture on it, they always say the same thing. The clerk looks at the state written across my driver’s license and says, “Why would you come to Youngstown if you’re from California?”
For the few months that I have been back, I have already heard that comment more times than I can count, and its getting pretty annoying. However, its not the comment itself that bothers me, but the attitude of many of the people who live here. I was at the mall and listened to some guy that I didn’t even know complain about his low paying job and the area’s depression for 20 minutes. He talked about how horrible it is to live here and how the sun only shines about 10 days per year. I think that it shone more than 10 days in November alone. The funniest thing was that somehow this disgruntled older fellow connected the poor performance of the Cleveland Browns with the poor economic conditions of the area.
Yes, the economy is horrible here, but it is just about as bad in California too. The difference is that there are about 25 million more people out there. Many of the people in California are homeless too. Whether its Los Angeles, San Francisco or Beverly Hills, there are large numbers of homeless people living in the alleys, on the hillsides and in cars or beat up RVs. Many of my friends have lost their jobs or businesses and are relying on the generosity of their families for help.
The sons and daughters of Youngstown have seen the worst of times, but warm weather and palm trees do not make a poor economy any more tolerable. People are suffering every bit as badly in Los Angeles as they are in any other city, but California is a very complex place with too many people, too much crime, too much traffic, and way too much hype.
So, if you meet someone from out of state maybe its better to say, “Hi there, welcome to Youngstown.” You never know, that person could be the CEO of some Fortune 500 company, looking to relocate 100,000 jobs to the area, or it could be an old Y’towner like me looking for a new beginning. Either way, lets stop shooting ourselves in the foot.
Tickets for ‘fuzzy dice’
In the recent election, voters in this area nixed the idea of an increase in taxes to improve the streets and roads.
It seems to me that if law enforcement would simply ticket those drivers who continue to display Handicap tags from their rear view mirrors once they have left the parking space, we would all benefit from the increased revenue generated from the citations. The money could go a long way to road repair.
They are a view obstruction, just as much as a pair of fuzzy dice ... or maybe that is their handicap.