Essays

Progress?

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There’s a billboard on south I-95 a few miles before you reach the sunshine state that reads something like: Florida is full–but Georgia has room.

As the Carpenter Crew drove by at 70 MPH, we thought, just a few years ago Florida housed more mosquitoes and alligators than people. In fact, every state from Maine to the sunshine state could have posted a sign that read “we have room.”

But then came something called progress.

In Florida, Cape Canaveral and the space age banished ‘skeeters and moved ‘gators. Land that was once swamp became prime real estate.

Next, Disney and the Magic Kingdom made their debut and turned hundreds of empty acres into a more inviting place. Now the “boomers” are coming and the sunshine state is bursting at the seams.

And it’s not only Florida. The entire East Coast is popping its stitches.

Over the past year, long and short trips have taken us through many beach communities, always on the lookout for a town with one main street, light traffic, affordable home prices and at least a tiny view of water and a bit of sand.

Sorry to say there is no such place. Quiet, laid-back small seaside towns have ceased to exist.

What does exist is something called steady improvement–better known as progress–better known as crowds, traffic, overpriced housing and out-of-sight property taxes.

And forget the sand or the ocean. You’ll only catch a glimpse through the high-rises.

Can this really be progress?

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