Thursday, October 13, 2005

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones


I’m one of those weird people who think Mississippi is a beautiful place. I actually enjoy living here.

Coming from Memphis, Tenn. (20 years ago), I realize that most of the rest of the country thinks that Mississippi is at the bottom of every list. Fortunately, we have Arkansas to keep us from being 50th. (That is a joke — I have family and friends in Arkansas. It’s a nice state.)

There is one large problem though that annoys me nearly every day.

Several weeks ago, guys from either the Marshall County jail or the prison were out early in the morning picking up trash and litter along Hwy 7 and even down our road, Hwy 310, which is a state highway.

Coming home that night, it was so pretty and clean. The beautiful green rolling hillsides were being bushhogged by the state and for a few days, the drive to and from work was just a sight to see — just beautiful! Miles of green — all of it clean. I’ve always thought Hwy 310 was particularly pretty and for a few days it was just spectacular.

Wildlife roams freely around our neck of the woods and quite often a turkey or a deer will explode from the trees and give you a heart attack.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for the careless folks who drive up and down Hwy 7 and Hwy 310 to ruin all this quiet and peaceful scenery.

Within two-three days of the trash pick-up and the bushhogging the intersection of Hwys 7 and 310 is once again strewn with garbage.

Big bags of garbage, tossed on the side of the road to explode and spill their nasty contents all down the highway.

I want to know why the people who do this “do this.” If they don’t have garbage cans at home, I will be happy to leave mine at the top of the road and they can dump their garbage in there.

I just cannot understand why folks dump their garbage on the side of the road.

Do we not care what kind of image we present to travelers along our highways? Don’t we care what we have to look at while we’re rushing to and fro on those same highways?

I don’t know how the guys who pick up the litter feel about it — but I do know it makes me mad on their behalf.

It’s very hard work cleaning up the roadside. I’ve done it for years up and down in front of our house and by the time you get both sides of the road “clean” you’re tired!

You’re also very proud of yourself afterwards. I’m guessing those guys are proud of what they do also.

They do a great service for those of us who live and drive in Mississippi.

So how do we say “thank you?”

By throwing out more garbage!

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