Whitey Harwood’s From the Woodshed: Here in the real world

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 15, 2023

In the past couple of weeks some deeper thinkers from RoCo had some very important and legit questions about “trash in the ditches.”

Here are the questions:

Who’s responsible for cleaning up our fair city?

What do people who visit our great city think of us when they see inconsiderate, unlawful litter and garbage along our prominent roads?

How can we get conviction and moral ethics into people’s minds so that they realize it’s so wrong?

Now, I’m gonna try to answer the questions, but first — Have you ever watched the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter?”

Do you remember when Lee Dollarhide offered Doo Lynn a job? Lee told Doo, “If you’re born in the mountains, you got three choices: coal mine, moonshine, or movin’ on down the line?

Here’s your answer to the first question. If you live in RoCo and want the trash picked up, here goes you three things you can do: strap on a vest, get in the ditch, and do your best to clean up the mess.

While we’re watching movies, let’s go to “Lonesome Dove.”

Remember when Gus told Call to let Newt stay up because “The only chance he’s got of an education is listening to me talk.” “What kind of education is that?” Then Gus said, “You think he’ll learn more shoveling horse poop for you?” Call told him, “I’ve shoveled my share of it. It ain’t hurt me none.”

Have you figured out who’s responsible yet? I am. You are. Everyone from Aaron to Karen. Mutt and Jeff, Dick and Jane, Amy and Jamie, Casey and Stacey, Marcel, Raynel, Claude, Clovis, and Newgene. Every one of us.

Here’s a good quote from Winona LaDuke to go along with the answer. “Whether you have feet, wings, fins or roots, we are all in it together.”

Question No. 2 I can’t answer. Even if I could, I wouldn’t. Why? Because it doesn’t deserve an answer.

But, I did enjoy thinking about “unlawful litter” and wondering “What is lawful litter?” I was up all night on that one and then about the time the sun came up, it dawned on me. Them balloons people release is “lawful litter.” So is all the cig-a-butt smoke that people release. What about all them cig-a-butt butts scattered everywhere? That must be lawful, too.

For question No. 3, the answer comes from Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Here’s another quote to ponder over from Majora Carter. “Just because you have a piece of trash and you throw it away and it gets hauled away, it doesn’t mean that it’s not affecting someone else.”

Another one, to help out with a good answer to your questions, from Winona LaDuke. “I would like to see as many patriotic to a land as I have seen patriotic to a flag.”

Now I’m hoping people had as much fun reading this as I did writing it!

The last quote is the granddaddy of all of ‘em for answering the questions: “To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people’s trash,” Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

In closing I would love to leave you with some good news about picking up trash. You don’t need any special training, you sorta pick it up as you go along.

No need to thank me if any of this helped you. You’re welcome.

But you can thank Alan Jackson for the title.

Keep on smilin’.

Whitey Harwood lives in Rowan County.