A mile of speckled business establishments, falling short of their bottom line, guarded by a community of neighborhoods, some of which often make headline news, colored with culture and flashes of faces in passing from surrounding counties and the capital.
A misplaced pride that has dipped in the creek and driven to the pike has abandoned this side of town. The mile has accrued many notorious staples: a low income community, bombarded with crime and illegal immigrants, plagued with disappointment and an eye sore at its end.
Deemed unworthy of monetary allocation, a not so blind eye is turned. Ranting hecklers feverishly jump to express their disdain with the mile’s condition. Believing the strip’s dying grace needs a savior for rescue, Frederick County rallies committees and professional planners to revive its estate.
The Golden Mile once experienced an era of bloom; people congregated and business boomed. It was a flourishing pot, where guaranteed prosperity for business owners and a breath of achievement for families new and retired was promised.
The gold of our mile has chipped away. What remains has tarnished and depreciated.
Through the grit and grime of lost profitability, changed demographic and fallen reputation, there is still raw beauty found in the dulled gem.
If not measured by economic disparity or depressed aesthetic, Route 40 is of an aged artistry, incomparable to other stories of regressed communities. Let it not be judged by not only its future outlook but by nostalgia and hope. Fascination lives in its magic memories everyone reminisces upon and the potential everyone wishes for.
With golden remembrances and wishes, we stand for revitalization of our forgotten neighborhoods, the classified “ghettos,” stereotyped residents, and blackballed businesses. A spell of hopelessness grips the town as pointed fingers, diverted eyes, for lease signs and front page headlines plague our community. Onlookers distrust and don’t believe. Where there is no hope, there is no spur from the people to restore.
Before we try to scour speckles of dirt, we may find that it sparkles when seen in altered angles of light. Perspective. Opportunity. Specks of gold are waiting to be rediscovered and redefined, wishing for the granted liberty to gleam once again. #out40
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