20 October 2007

Rambler #3 (1914)

[Image of auto stuck in the mud from the National Museum of American History's "America on the Move" exhibit.]

The Rambler series continues with #3, from the Chatham RECORD of January 21, 1914:
No. 3.

Editor of The Record:

Last week we talked on a cotton mill and house-building. We are going to talk about something this week that Rambler hopes will interest you.

Did you ever see a horse and wagon stalled in the mud? No matter how hard the horse pulled he could not move the wagon. All sorts of advice would be given the driver only to fail moving the load. The horse just could not budge it until a lot of husky fellows gathered around the wagon and put their shoulders to the wheel.

It moved then, didn’t it? You bet. So it is with some towns. A town will get into a rut. A few spasmodic efforts will be made to get it out by some of the more enterprising citizens, then a few more little jerks and pulls until it finally looks as if the poor old town was gone for sure.

But some day another kind of a fellow comes along and he sees the old town, and he also sees how bad she is stuck in the rut. He likes the looks of the place. it seems good to him. The people are clever, sociable and entertaining and he asks himself: "Why is this thus? Why don’t these people get on the main line?" And the more he studies over the question the more it puzzles him. He pulls off his coat and goes to work. He talks to this business man and that. He talks to the citizen. He tells them the advantages of such and such a thing; how it would benefit them, and not only them but others. The eyes of these people are opened. They, too, get to work and the result is the old town is MADE to get out of the rut. New life is taken on, new people move in, new enterprises come in, business gets on a boom, new stores and new residences begin to spring up, everything begins to flourish and everybody carries a happy face.

This is not an overdrawn picture. The town of Pittsboro has been in a rut for many years. Time and time and time again have some of its citizens tried to get it out, but the more they pulled the deeper it seemed to sink, until they gave up in disgust and despair.

Now there is yet a chance to get the old town back on its feet again, but every man must put his shoulder to the wheel and PUSH. IF YOU CANNOT PUSH, PULL. If you cannot do either don’t get in the way. LET'S ORGANIZE A CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. That will be the husky fellow to pull us out of the rut. Let the citizens get together and talk the matter over. "Argufy" the matter, as it were. There are plenty of public-spirited citizens here, and there may be some in the county who have not lost all pride for their county capital, that would join. Who knows but what such a movement, if conducted on the right line, would not be a stepping stone for the people of today to leave to future generations. Let's try it anyhow.


No comments: