paging norman rockwell

i may rag on it from time to time, but i truly do love austin. i won\’t wax springsteen or mellencamp on you, but i believe it was a great place to grow up.

that said, it\’s a different town now. part of it is because it\’s changed; part of it is because i\’ve changed. it\’s not the same place i grew up. or maybe it is and i\’m just more aware. irregardless, enjoy this exchange from the register of a local grocery store.

pleasant-looking woman: [sneeze]
our hero: bless you.
PLW: you\’ll have to excuse me. the person in line before you had on some very strong perfume. i think i\’m allergic.
OH: oh. yeah, some people put on a little too much.
PLW: it\’s mostly a problem with those really dark-skinned blacks. i don\’t think they had perfume where they came from, so they use way too much.
OH: …um…







5 responses to “paging norman rockwell”

  1. alex Avatar

    Were we all in Austin this weekend? wadE, did you end up going? We should really coordinate better… 🙂
    But yeah, there’s definitely going to need to be another generation gone before that sort of thing will start to disappear, and even then I have to wonder how much of that kind of thinking will be handed down…

  2. wadE Avatar

    I too was in Austin… caught the front page of the paper with two articles about 6 break-ins that happened on Main Street in Leroy, and another article that an 18-year-old in Austin was arrested on Cocaine charges. It really is a different place now than it was growing up. My mom told me that someone tried to break in to our garage. And a few months ago someone tried to break in to several places just to the west of us. They did get in to the old ServiceMaster building and stole a bunch of stuff. With the influx of drugs (mostly meth) crime has skyrocketed. This change has happened at the same time that the town has had a huge influx of minorities. So of course the blame falls on the “really dark black people” and the “mexicans”. Funny though that for every crime on the police blotter that has a name like Rodriguez, there’s one that says Gunderson. I don’t see attitudes changing much in Austin. The current generation (20s and 30s) are getting the beliefs that have been handed down reinforced by the current climate. Prosperity is the only cure for a town like Austin. Until they get more industry not much will change.

  3. anderswa Avatar

    you need to look no further than 1 Hormel Place for the root of austin’s current problems. when the “comp’ny” ostensibly prevailed in that little labor dispute, it opened the floodgates for lower-skilled and higher-risk people to move in and take jobs. the town is going to hell but hormel has higher profit margins. and isn’t that what’s most important?

  4. alex Avatar

    We talked a little about the strike this weekend. Scuttlebutt is that if the union had stayed local, that they probably would have prevailed (at least in that round). The error, it seems, was bringing in the international union. And this is all from someone directly involved, so it would seem to wash.

  5. wadE Avatar

    If you’ve watched American Dream the national union told Local P9 to settle with Hormel since the wages proposed them were above average for the type of work. The problem was brining in Ray Rogers and his “consulting” team from New York. They are the ones who suggested that P9 stay on strike until the bitter end.
    Even if they would have settled, I don’t think much would be different today. Hormel’s still would have outsourced the work to a company like QPP and those skilled workers would have been out of a job (the improvements in technology would have pushed them out too), but they probably would have ended up with some sort of severance package instead of nothing. Plus they would have had a good 5-10 more years of making the best money in town.
    You know I’m liberal and usual pro-union, but P9 messed this up themselves. They should have listened to the national union, but instead got greedy and got bad advice…and the whole town suffered for it.
    The short version is that it’s still a one-horse town that needs to attract jobs that require some level of skilled labor.

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