In my travels this past spring and summer, I saw the matters I described in these four columns. In fact, I saw a lot more than I have had space to share. The urban settings were difficult enough, but what really struck me was one rural scene I saw and with which I have a history.
I first visited this facility 42 years ago. At that time, it was nearly new, brightly painted, with well-manicured lawns. That part has not changed--the same company owns it and they still run a first-class operation. However, in the ensuing 42 years, a number of gas stations, convenience stores and trucking depots have come and gone in the vicinity--about two miles up and down this rural road.
In most cases, these abandoned facilities are just that--abandoned, falling in, weed choked and unpleasant to view.
On one hand, one can make the argument that these facilities are private property and are the responsibility of their individual owners. This is obviously true.
On the other hand, one can make the argument that if it had not been for the large, still operating first class facility, all this rural blight would not exist. For these abandoned and derelict properties would never have been conceived, built and failed if it had not been the dreams of some to be near the large facility.
If the large facility had not been built, the bucolic countryside would be as it was 42 years ago--a pleasant place in a rural setting.