africatown

Locally here in Mobile, Alabama, it is rumored that things are being put in place that would ensure that by year 2025, Mobile County would be industrialized with "Oil-Based" industries while Baldwin County will be "Water-Based" with beach resorts, fancy restaurants and hotels and lively entertainment.

A few months ago there was an explosion of train tank cars of crude oil in Canada. One exploding tank car ignited another, then another, then another, etc. Final results were half a town wiped out and dozens of people killed or injured. The blast area of that explosion was estimated to have a 5 mile radius. If you allow a "storage tank city" to be built close to a community, you are asking for trouble.

"Son, don't let nobody take your watermelon", was a phrase my  grandfather used often when I was a kid, referring to something you had of value that others wanted. Sometimes others will try to devalue what you have in an effort to make what they have seem better. Their efforts to make what you have meaningless could be a by-product of envy, greed, jealously or spite.

Industry along Mobile's riverfront.  Photo by Karen Savage, flight by Tom Hutchings

The bully on the block will take your lunch money each and every day until you make him stop. You will earn a lot by fighting and losing than by not fighting at all. You will earn respect, love and admiration, even from the person you are fighting, because you did not back down and stood up for yourself. One day that bully will leave you alone because you did not remain invisible and let him know you were there and was coming back the next day for more if necessary.

Some people might stand in the shadow of Mobile, Alabama's Cochran-Africatown Bridge and see nothing but the sprawling tank farms, barges and coal terminals that clutter the Mobile River's banks, stretching northward from south of downtown to historic Africatown and beyond.   

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