Equestrian center’s roses and thorns

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2015

To the editor:

There seems to have been a veritable spate of good news about the equestrian center recently, with Bob Williamson assuring us that our way of life will not be adversely affected. Bob has been an acquaintance of mine for some 20 years, and he is admired and respected for his work ethic and affability (truth to tell, I am a little jealous of him).

Furthermore, I was on Congressman Taylor’s Priorities Committee, where I pushed for non-polluting light industry to be the number one priority for the county; and for a short time, I served on the Economic Development committee, but my schedule did not fit.

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My friends, beware the full-court press, high pressure sales tactic that never mentions the potentially negative! If only one percent of the conservative estimate of 4,000 transients with no roots in Polk County arrive for half the year, that is 40 “camp followers” of one description or another — such as gamblers, pushers, confidence tricksters, and general layabouts coming here renting and driving any which way for half the year.

In my experience the overwhelming percentage of horse people are polite, and at least superficially friendly, but there will be a few of your new best friends who will allow you to persuade them to let you in on a recently discovered rare earth mine along the Limpopo River.

Furthermore 4,000 transient visitors means at least 1,000 cars, trucks and horse trailers descending on us for six months of the year! Who is going to pay for the additional stress on the infrastructure? Who is going to pay for the additional deputies and patrol cars? How long will it take for them to discover that S.C. gas is a lot cheaper than N.C. gas?

Ladies, bring out your gingham dresses, your sunbonnets, your pipes! Gentlemen, put on your overalls and clodhoppers to drive your beat up old pickups around. Everyone, practice your Southernisms, so that the horse people can talk about quaint Polk County and its quaint citizens!

Oliver Goldsmith, a poet of the 18th century Age of Enlightenment wrote, in his poem, The Deserted Village, “Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey/Where wealth accumulates, and men decay!” Think about it!

Bill Holcomb