I live in a small town in the middle of Missouri's wine country. A picturesque little river town that has somehow managed to keep the charm of all the river towns of Tom Sawyer's and Huck Finn's youth, despite doubling in size every few years.
My town has rolling hills and panoramic vista's looking out over the wide Missouri river and the fertile farms and woodlands that line its banks. As you drive through town you can crest a hill and see sitting atop another hill a mile or more in the distance the steeple of a century old church, or the gleaming ivory facade of the only six story building in town, our local hospital.
In my town, people still take turns pulling the rope that sends the melodic sounds of church bells echoing into the air several times a day. Trains carrying hundreds of cars of coal to the local power plant still rumble through town each day and that exciting sound of train whistles fills the air with the promise of far off places many of us only dream of seeing some day.
In my town farmers still bring fresh produce, fruit and even pumpkins into town to be sold each Saturday morning at the makeshift stands behind the community pool. The greeter at Wal-mart can still call many of the customers by name and it is impossible to take an evening walk without having to answer the waves of every person you pass.
Unfortunately, many of the things that make my town so special are slowly going by the wayside as city folks looking to escape their rat-race move here. Regrettably, those relocating city dwellers do not seem to appreciate the charm of century old customs like train whistles. So, on May 18th, the latest in a long line of laws, made by our town council to cater to the voices of that growing majority, will become effective and one of the last sounds of small town life will be forever silenced. The trains will nolonger beable to blow thier whisles.
I have only two comments. One, I will miss those train whistles terriblely. Two, how long before they decide the church bells are annoying just like the train whistles? I do not see the silencing of the sounds that built America as progress.