“People are crazy and times are strange,

“I’m locked in tight, but I’m out of range.

“I used to care, but things have changed.” 

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. I get busy at work and the next thing I know I’m on deadline Thursday afternoon and have forgotten to write a column.

It’s been so long, in fact, that I had to have a new mugshot taken because my hair is looking a little bit lighter every day. It’s badge of honor I wear proudly as I believe I have earned every single gray hair on my head.

The lyrics that began this little venture into English language debauchery are from the soundtrack of an old movie called “Wonderboys.” The words were written by Bob Dylan, although they don’t exactly hit this proverbial nail on the head.

People are crazy and times are strange. That’s very true. Who would have ever thought we would be seeing presidential debates have to be split up into a couple of days because there are too many Democrats seeking the nomination to get them all on stage at one time?

I may be locked in tight, but out of range. The more I watch things going on nationally I realize that there’s almost nothing we can do locally to stop anything we truly believe needs to be brought to a sudden halt.

But the last line of the chorus above isn’t exactly right in my world at the time. Things may have changed, but I do still care.

I have 3.95 grandchildren now (it will be an even four virtually any time now as my oldest daughter is expecting to deliver virtually any day). I want to see that they have a world to grow up in where they don’t have to worry every day about what will happen next. Many people complain about the national debt and say we can’t saddle future generations with massive debt, yet decry investment in saving the environment for the kids. What good will it do if the country is out of debt and we leave future generations with a world in which they can’t breathe?

But those matters won’t be fixed at the local level. What we have to be thinking about is trying to fix things in our immediate world.

For instance, the other day I shot pictures of a couple of potholes I had been seeing as I drive around town. I wasn’t trying to force the Street Department to do something, mind you. Those folks can’t be everywhere and they probably don’t know where the holes are unless someone tells them.

I sent those pics in to the Public Works Department with a note asking that the holes be put on the list for the next time workers were out with hot mix. About three days later, both holes were fixed.

My hat is off to the city for taking such quick action.

So, even if things have changed we still have to do the work necessary to change whatever portion of the world we can and continue to care.

Good luck to you all.

James L. White is associate editor of the Harrison Daily Times. Contact him at jamesw@harrisondaily.com or (870) 743-0608.

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