There’s a tiny strawberry patch in our yard and this year’s crop, although not yet ready for harvest, appears to be a record-setter. Last year’s yield topped out at about five berries, so a pint this year would be a vast improvement. My agricultural experience (mostly lack thereof) tells me we may be blessed with an entire quart of juicy redness in 2021.

Can you imagine a world without strawberries? That first sweet crop of the season is always most welcome. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with supermarket berries grown in California and other warm climates throughout the year, it’s hard to beat the flavor of a homegrown strawberry in late May. From sliced berries on cornflakes in the morning, to sliced berries in a salad for lunch, to strawberry pie for dessert at dinner, strawberries rule. And that’s this year’s “ode to the red berry.”

Two big areas of controversy seem to be on the minds of local citizens these days: King Street’s bumps and a casino coming to town.

One thing we can agree on is that the main street through our little town needs repaving. We put up with traffic interruptions as ancient utility lines (probably designed by Ben Franklin) were dug up and replaced, all the while telling ourselves as we navigated the resulting hills and valleys in the roadway that this inconvenience would lead to smooth sailing in the near future. “Near” was the operative term here. But “near” has come and gone and still we wait. There are self-proclaimed authorities on the subject who “blame” various officials for the delay in street repair, but we all know that COVID-19 is the culprit here. (Oops. That’s another controversy, but we’ll skip that one today.)

The job will be done one of these days, then complainers will complain that the street’s too smooth and drivers are exceeding the speed limit, jeopardizing our law-abiding residents. They’ll long for the days when the street was too bumpy to drive fast, claiming the town was safer when King Street was rough and uneven. Some people just can’t be pleased.

Then there’s the pending arrival of a “satellite” casino. Evidently there are two camps: you’re either for the casino or against the casino. Opinions range from “it will enhance our community with jobs” to “it will bring all manner of evil to our pristine village,” and includes everything in between.

Personally, I want Lowe’s back in the Lowe’s building. But evidently that’s not going to happen. Truth is, gambling can be a big problem. But so is unemployment.

Will a casino bring people into town? The owners are certainly counting on it! I can’t imagine that only local residents will be at those 600 betting positions, ranging from slot machines to table games, at the “mini” casino.

Will some of those visitors be “bad” people? Depending on your definition of “bad” the answer is probably yes. But don’t we have some “bad” people residing in our community already? You know what bad people are. They disagree with you on such things as politics, music, religion, tattoos, Starbucks and casinos.

There will never be complete agreement on some issues like who to blame for a rutted street or what will happen if and when a casino comes to town, but strawberries are good. And if you disagree with that, you’re a “bad” person and you should take your evil influence elsewhere!

 

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