‘It sure ain’t Macy’s’

Harmon, in Boone County, Arkansas, technically is a “populated place” — not a town or a village or even a “census-designated place.” We travel through Harmon on our way to and from The Mountain, passing an official green highway sign in each direction.

The only indications of commercial activity are a large Anderson’s Propane tank on the south side of US 62 and a tiny general store with gas pumps across the road. I learned this morning on social media that the store is closing, up for sale.

The locals — which would include people living close by and anyone who drives that stretch of highway with any regularity — are saddened by the loss. Apparently there’s been a store in that spot for 50 years or more. It’s an anchor, a reliable source a fuel, smokes, staples and snacks.

One woman expressed frustration that she’ll lose the last convenient place to buy the worms she prefers.

For Deb and me it’s been a landmark, though we’ve had no reason to stop there. Gas is always cheaper in Bellefonte, just east of Harmon, and we never found ourselves in need of munchies at that point on our drives.

But it’s important to others — folks who live there, who farm and fish there, who’ve always dropped by to pick up a little somethin’. The closure is another reminder of how simple, traditional and precarious life can be in rural America.

Perhaps a new owner will keep it going. I hope so.

Meanwhile, last weekend Yellville held its Christmas parade and tree-lighting ceremony. We weren’t there, but scrolling through images posted on Facebook by The Mountaineer Echo newspaper, I couldn’t resist comparing it to what friends have shared from similar festivities back in Ohio.

Our adopted hometown, the seat of Marion County, Arkansas, has a smaller population than many housing developments in Pickerington, Ohio. Each of that bedroom community’s two high schools have more students than Yellville has residents. And so the Christmas celebrations, as you might expect, are very different.

Let me put it this way — if Country is your thing, Yellville is the place you want to be. Even the town’s Christmas tree on the courthouse square, a sparse red cedar decorated humbly for the season, oozes unpretentious charm.

The parade? Well, it sure ain’t Macy’s.

When Deb and I see how our new neighbors celebrate Christmas together, we smile. It validates, once again, our choice to uproot and move to a place like this, a culture we once believed no longer exists.

But it does.

Ebenezer Scrooge had the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Americans have Canada. As you’ll remember, in A Christmas Carol the old miser was wise enough to see that the future would be quite dark unless he changed his ways. It remains to be seen if we’ll recognize our neighbour to the north for the cautionary tale it is.

Canada, unlike the US, provides no constitutional protection of the individual birthright to keep and bear arms. (We can talk later about whether Canada even has a constitution.) It has no equivalent of our Second Amendment — owning a firearm is a privilege subject to approval of the State.

And that’s why all bets are off when someone like Kid Turdeau [sic] gets ahold of the levers of power. In May of this year he crowed about freezing handguns — “It will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada.” Now there’s a good chance The Commie Kid will get legislation specifically and permanently banning much more than that.

His leftist tools in parliament have managed to sneak changes into Bill C-21 that would expand the scope of “prohibited weapons” to include hunting rifles.

See, that’s gonna be a problem.

Canadians have been asleep, lulled into slumber by assurances that their betters intended to ban only the sort of naughty guns that Americans use to kill each other. We could’ve told our frosty friends that it wouldn’t stop there — and we did, actually, but few listened.

You think we’ve got Fudds down here? Bitch, please — Canada is Fudd Nation. Now Turdeau is comin’ for their blunderbusses. Now they care.

Don’t kid yourselves, People — that’s where America is headed. We’re fools if we believe otherwise. The infringement must stop here and now, or it never will.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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