I have been mulling over what I wanted to say the last two days and yesterday, I felt it best to wait another day. I am so glad I did, and that I didn’t just let loose with all of my random thoughts. I will tell you that in the last few months, I have been tired of all of the division, tired of us being separated by politics and such things. I have spent many moments questioning where the people loving people of America have gone, and why we are we so combative and standoffish anymore? And then I paused, and I waited.
Today, Bill asked me if I would like to go photograph some flags, as Chillicothe was teeming with them, I answered “Of Course!”! So off we went. We stopped at Unioto first, I love how they display a large number of flags at their buildings, and with the tank, paying homage to their school, along with Camp Sherman/Chillicothe heritage, it was a great place to start.
I saw my good friend Maria drive by as I was shooting, it made me happy and reminded me that people are still willing to be friendly in this day and age. Onward we went via Western Avenue! I saw a lot of flags at businesses, and it warmed my heart, people still care about and love their country. We stopped shortly after arriving near downtown, I had to capture this truck! I wondered who so beautifully parked it where they did…the light, the Americana of this scene, swoon!!
I love this porch vignette that the owner took care with. What a great use of space between these pillars, and their flower pots are beautiful! To me, brick and wrought iron are so classic! I drove off down the street after this capture, waved to a man sitting on his porch. He now owns the former house of a friend, I always loved the house and think the friend is awesome. Something piqued my mind, I told Bill that we had to circle back and stop and ask to shoot their porch with flags. So we did.
We rolled up, I jumped right out and asked if I could photograph their flags. I realize that is an odd request, and it is somewhat weird to see a stranger roll up on you with a camera, lol, but these kind people invited us right in, offered us coffee and were so graciously welcoming that Bill and I were both taken aback at how fluid it all was. Truly, we found some great people and it was such a confirmation to me that good, friendly people still exist. Dona, if the offer is still open, we would love to have that cup of coffee with you all and get to know you better!
We are America dammit. All of us. What happened to celebrating differences, as well as similarities? Where is our melting pot? We are STILL HERE. We never left, we just all got caught in the crosshairs, and it is time for us to step out of line of the sight, sit down on the porch, and share a cup with a neighbor, a friend, or a complete stranger. It is time to put our faith back in people, have conversations to listen, learn, and understand. It is time to be America again!
Whether you just moved to town, or you have been here forever, Chillicothe is a good representation of our nation. This is a great place to live, work, and be. Why are we forgetting, or overlooking that? Someone will always call your home a shit town, but guess what? It is to some, and isn’t to others…what do you want it to be, and what are you helping to make it be? BTW, the Lions Club puts the flags out in town, perhaps you would like to volunteer to help next year?
We cannot forget our history, good and bad. We cannot outrun, or apologize for the things done of those that came before us. We can learn and grow, get better and succeed where our predecessors failed. We can relearn more about history when things may have been skewed or written incorrectly. We can write with more awareness, objectivity, integrity and honesty, but we cannot write more than the facts, remember that.
We can be grateful for the care and services of others. We can appreciate those that put themselves in danger to help others. We can value those, that value their communities and try to give back so that others may prosper.
We can appreciate people, for their efforts, for their sacrifices, for their love of others and their community, for their town, for their nation. We can talk to complete strangers, walking away like we made a new friend. We can lean on each other, when this world seems to have lost it’s way.
Whether or not people admit it, WE are in this together. We must be thankful, we must be grateful, we must be proud.
We are Main Street USA. We are Small Town America. We are stronger together. Our differences don’t divide us, they MAKE US. We cannot survive being all alike, literature has proven that, and reminded us time and time again. It is time for our beauty to shine, this Nation is ONE, and it is high time we all remember what it stands for: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Our three unalienable rights. INDEPENDENCE.