Didn’t Have a Ghost of a Chance

The stock market had its ‘black Monday’ on October 19, 1987. Lincoln County’s ‘ black Monday’ didn’t arrive ‘til December 28th. That’s when word leaked out that our county, including the whole Northwest, didn’t have a ghost of a chance of getting the Super Collider. But our ‘black Monday" did see T.V. cameramen circling the Davenport area to record the reaction of some involved citizens. 

The camera lens couldn’t help but pick up the elated expressions of the Carl Sorensons and Doug Mielke. However, these three anti-Collider volunteer workers expressed that they certainly were for advancements in Lincoln County, as long as a tunnel wasn’t placed under their farms. 

All these months of sword rattling ended without any fanfare. Dennis Reed spoke the right words into the TV cameras when he stated that we all learned a lot on how to attract economic development to our beloved territory. Dennis happened to be the spokesman for the progressive groups that figured a ‘collider for science’ would bring prosperity. 

It’s a disgrace that the State of Washington didn’t make the short list. What subject do we have left to kick around? 

None, dam it! Most winters farmers have had an important issue to spit and argue over. Nothing works better to create a discussion than to have a controversial issue. 

Not so many years ago, some farmers became concerned when they heard that a steam generating plant might get built at Creston. Like the collider project, the proposed steam plant was slow in generating any anti-feelings. Finally the ball got to rolling when a winter hearing was held at Creston. 

Many protesters were concerned and their statements were justified. But some changed horses in the middle of the stream. For example: The summer before the Creston debate took place, a plot of land was laid out along the road side that was not treated with chemicals. On the ground a sign informed the uninformed public what would happen if the environmentalists had their say-so. But when the steam plant became a pollution issue, the chemical sprayer sided with the pure air environmentalist, and testified against the steam plant project. 

Even some chain smokers were afraid that the steam plant would pollute the air that was available for them between nearly booed down—even after Washington Water Power agreed to live up to all the clean air standards that the state required. 

An industry of some kind should be welcome to move in. Otherwise, small towns will just be a place for us folks to stand around and visit in. J. F. Coates, consultant for State and Local Government in Washington, D.C. made this statement, “Community leaders are told to phase out small towns. It’s futile to try to save small towns. The automobile has made them obsolete, and the state needs a plan for phasing them out’ ’. Coates also added, “Small towns are redundant and inefficient. Service can be provided in larger cities....Small towns should be dismantled with the least amount of expense and inconvenience to the public”. 

Farming towns are already feeling the effects of the Conservation Reserve Program as fertilizer companies and machinery dealers can go out of business. Fields that are allowed to grow only grass and weeds don’t require fertilizer or machinery. 

Let’s think that survival is possible. There is just too much at stake to let our rural communities that we love so well drop by the roadside. Coates eventually got around to making a final statement by saying that small towns need to prepare for the future, to not let the dismantling of our towns "just happen." 

He is right! We do have to prepare for the future. If we let things “just happen” then Coates predictions will come true. People can’t financially settle in country towns where the good life is, if it has already thrown in the towel. 

But its a problem. Families in early days had reason for living in ‘our towns’ when flour mills were located in about every community. Most home towns had an industry of some kind. Breweries could be seen here and there, also messy slaughter houses, brick yards etc. The well known Harvester Manufacturing Company of years ago, helped fill the population of Harrington. Of course those days are not now. Times have changed. 

If there are no farther objections, maybe we can coax some modem day industry into Lincoln County. One that doesn’t have to make tunnels. Or, power plants that do not have tall smoke stacks that seem to cause a lot of natives to get the jitters. 

Davenport is too big a town to fold up. It has everything that Spokane has, except smog, parking meters and traffic jams. Cars can be purchased brand new, right here, the same as in Spokane. Western Auto and Dave’s Home Center have everything needed to make modem living possible. Other stores, pharmacies and eateries are well spaced throughout the main drag. And two good food chain stores are here to supply us with all those calories that we need. 

"Country Towns Can Die" Kik-Backs No. 3, page 48 (home)     (thread)

The Spokesman-Review
Thu, Jun 25, 1987 ·Page 49