November 02, 2007


Yes, this area is described as agricultural/light industrial but I'm not turning to farming, yet. I'm trying to describe the relationship between my friendly employer and the community. Think about it. Immediately after slavery ended, the system of sharecropping developed. Former slave owners couldn't pay wages as such but would allow the freed slaves to cultivate land for a share of the proceeds. In many instances, the landowners also provided the tools, seeds, etc., or owned the store from which these items were purchased. When the crop came in, the "merchant" and landowner received payment. Sometimes the sharecropper realized nothing from his labor.

Now compare that to my friendly employer. It moves into a "ripe" area and businesses shut down. Its mere size creates more jobs; hence, more people are employed. It provides the major source of shopping for the area. Therefore, those that work for the employer must also buy their goods, using wages earned from the employer, from the employer.

Now before you rush off thinking that I must be truly ungrateful, I am most thankful for the opportunity. However, the similarity struck me as I worked and saw many coworkers buying Christmas items, etc. And, I buy there, as well. Great hint: Don't know what's going on in your neck of the woods but the clearance aisles are on their 3rd and 4th markdown. Some toys are practically free.

It finally hit me that the reason why so much freight comes in and goes out of the store is because Wal-Mart is IT for shopping in the county. (I'm slow sometimes.) Seven thousand people in Ripley and I don't know how many in Halls, Gates, and Henning but since Ripley is the largest of the four jurisdictions, that's a whole lot of people to feed, clothe, entertain and decorate for. You have to go to Jackson or Memphis for options. If you don't, your house will look just like everyone else's...the difference being in how creative you are.

Heating has hit a snag but it will work out. To finance through the light company, you must have been a resident using the service for a minimum of a year. And have impeccable credit. R-i-g-h-t. But you'll finance new windows? Thank you. Very much. If I can find money for heat, a most necessary item, I'll be able to find money for windows when they become necessary. Which is NOT right now. Some caulking is needed and other weatherproofing but so far they are all in place, in one piece.

It is not my place, nor am I in the position, to question their policy but does it strike anyone else as strange? You must have used the service for a minimum of a year. What difference does it make whether you used it for a day or a lifetime? They are the only light source in town! It's not like I have a choice of light companies to do business with. (The gas company doesn't finance anything.) Of course, I understand that they are looking for a record of payment--use credit reports like everybody else. And, impeccable credit? You and I both know that they are making loans to folks with credit way worse than mine. Geez.

Piss-ant may be preggies. Don't ask me--I'm hoping that her belly is swelling because she is eating well. Trust me. Zeke will get new boarders if she is.

That's it from the chilly South.

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