Slinging a smooth stone
Some things are just worth a little clutter
The Boise City News
I have been watching and reading the news of a brutal multiple murder at Deltona, Fla., just north of Orlando.
I had several reasons to be interested, as a newsman in Dumas, I reported on several murder cases involving area victims and on the death of a young neighbor woman in Dallas. Also, I have a granddaughter who lives in Jacksonville and lastly, though Cimarron County has had and very likely will have murders, it is extremely unlikely any will be as brutal and sensless as the Deltona killings where six young people were beaten to death for an electronic game and a few pieces of clothing.
This murder happended not in the projects and slums of Miami, but in the winter vacation home of the grandparents of Erin Ballanger, 22, one of the six victims. Ballanger, according to reports, was beaten so badly that dental records were useless in identifying her body.
What, you might ask, has this to do with Cimarron County? Since I returned two years ago, I, along with others, have dreamed of a revitalization of our economy. A recent visitor who came to speak about how that might happen, sang the same verse many others have sung...clean up your neighborhoods. I'll admit, there are trashy areas in Boise City, Keyes, Felt and Kenton. So what? Cimarron County has an extremely low crime rate, and schools that can teach. If I am looking for a community in which to place light industry, which should be more important to that decision? Low crime and good schools, or the existence of a hastily thrown together horse pen and the lack of gated communities and a Wal-Mart? I know which I'd choose.
I've been told that no company will ever choose to come here. There isn't enough good affordable housing; and that's true. However, in the mid-1950s, when Keyes knew that the helium plant was on it's way, the community built a school and at least two businessmen, (they were competiters), pooled their rescources to bring in housing. Those of you who can remember, take a drive through Keyes and look at how much housing came in with the helium plant. It can be done. That plant also brought new residents to Elkhart, Boise City and Dalhart.
Sure we have trashy yards, horses, cattle, sheep or goats in or near the city limits. There are also abandoned automobiles and farm equipment. So what? These areas, and their owners are part of what form our communities' remarkable personalities.
As you approach Amarillo from the south, or west along I-27 and I-40, there are huge gleaming homes; and if you know where to look, gated communities where residents “hide” from the squalor and poverty of the city's north side. But it makes no difference; new business constantly comes to Amarillo, soon they might build the president's helicopter fleet; trashy yards, murders and drugs not withstanding.
Cluttered yards, little housing, and grazing goats aside; if a company will give us in Cimarron County the opportunity, we can offer them communities where it's safe to raise and educate a family.
The word for the week is myopic.
Boise City News, P.O. Box 278