So many people seem so eager to get away from their hometowns. Maybe they have too many bad memories or the place is too small, or they just crave somewhere new. I guess I went through a bit of that at one point in my life too. Don't get me wrong, I want to see the world, I wouldn't even mind living in another place or another country if it came down to it...but I really, truly love my hometown.
It's not a particularly beautiful place. Our mascot is a Mudcat (which is just a Catfish). It's not even really quaint like most tourist/summer destination places. Typically, town council has made decisions that have slowed or stunt the town becoming anything much at all. I love the people I connect with though, I loved going to a town meeting and listening to the voices rallying together and seeing the politicians with their blood boiling. I love working at the library, and talking to all the people that come in to get books. I love when we find a book we like in common and we rave about it together. I love going to Church each week, and seeing my Church family - a group of people I may have nothing in common with in any other circumstances. I love the people I met through teaching computer courses and working at the Deli. I love walking down the streets imagining the houses and stores and people in the early part of the 1900s. I won't continue gushing because there are other things I need to mention.
Painting by Susan Zender "A View of the Grand River"
During the American Revolution, Joseph Brant and the Six Nations Natives aided the British in their war against you Yanks ;) In return, the British crown promised the Natives a new home (they lost the Mohawk Valley because of resettlement, etc.) This new home was to be 6 miles on either side of the Grand River. Over time, non-Natives began to move on to this land, and no one stopped them. In some cases, the land was "mortgaged" or "leased" legitimately, but it was a common practice to just squat on land until one day you were considered it's owner. As a result, a lot of the land in the Dunnville area is potentially still controlled by the Native peoples. (I've simplified the issue a lot)
The other day, I posted about the issues surrounding the arena land being sold for development when most of the citizens would like it to be green space. An article printed in the Dunnville Chronicle raised another important issue.... is this land really available for further development or will it, like other places in town and in nearby communities, be subject to Land Claims? People have sent letters to the mayor, but there hasn't been a straightforward answer. Here's the Chronicle article.
We've come so far in one way, we are more environmentally aware, more concerned with Human Rights, yet we are still fighting age old battles over inequality and Capitalistic enterprise.