Shantyville, a place, an attitude, an armpit

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"love to see downtown shantyville or other areas of interest for the tourist in us all." A glutton for punishment!!!!!!!! A shanty. A small speck on a planet. A smaller speck dwells within the shanty. A miniscule cootish mote approximately half-way between the size of an electron and the Milky Way galaxy. Some pundits say the universe. Relative sizing still debated. Isaac Asimov wrote about thos relative sizing. Check it out. Let us peer at the planet portion below The red dot covers the shanty and the immediate locale. East is to the right. Upper right corner with dark splotch is a golf course. Coot never seen there. Lower left corner is upper-middle class and higher, some parts MUCH higher. Some corporate execs with their mini-mansions there. Oldest part of town at and around the red splotch. Old downtown to right of splotch. Largest north/south vertical line is highway through town; 4-lane not divided. To the highway’s right is the newer part of town though expansion is underway with new firms building alongside the north/south highway towards the bottom of the picture. Semi-cloverleaf interchange visible at bottom with main highway intersecting. Much construction, expect this area to eventually be the new heart of the retail sector. Due to terrain constrictions shanty area protected from sprawl.... along with the reputation of the crotchety old [email protected] residing in the area. Did you know that in 12 years or so there has never been a trick-or-treater appearing at the shanty door? West of the shanty, a three-minute walk at most, is a park. It has a M-60 tank. Doesn't work. Tried but no go. Hatch welded shut. Several baseball fields, tennis court, picnic benches, etc. Nice park, But, doesn't seem to get a lot of use. Horse shoe tossing pits in background. Never seen 'em used. Old Lincoln Highway in background. It's statistics time!!!!! Shantyville compared to state averages: Median household income above state average. Unemployed percentage significantly below state average. Black race population percentage significantly below state average. Hispanic race population percentage significantly below state average. Foreign-born population percentage significantly below state average. Renting percentage significantly below state average. Number of rooms per house above state average. Number of shanties: data not revealed. Number of Old Coots: respondents refused to answer Park above has one high-use section, the skateboard park!!! Wheeee!!!!! Note lack of leaves and brown grass in this pic. It's Fall in Shantyville. Four true full seasons here. Bitter cold, sorta' in-between, blazingly hot and humid then sorta' in-between. The in-between seasons are the shortest. Mixed in with spring and summer is tornado and severe thunderstorm season and winter is cold severe storm season with a blizzard-like storm now-and-then. Weather is one reason the entire state's population is smaller than most major cities. Maybe ALL major cities. 1,700,000 or so humans and one Old Coot (tm). A revealing picture. Look at parking lot in background. Behind it is a football/soccer field, the one to the south of the shanty. Building behind kid's head is hamlet-owned and blocks view of shanty's front yard. Further back, out of sight but only a few minute's walk away is the old downtown. Let's go look at it!!!!! First stop on our old downtown tour is the male’s barber shop. Average user is 300 years old and is stern, taciturn and likely speaks, at most, 30 sentences per year. Those old curmudgeons make Old Coot seem like the life of the party. Coot quit using this barber a few years ago. Byron the barber. More commonly known as Byron the Butcher. Great guy but he has medical problems and shakes, a lot. Grew tired of bloody ears from nicks and scrapes. Getting a haircut turned into an adventure. Note the traffic enforcement sign. Always wondered if its placement was a coincidence or an inside joke amongst the local powers-that-be. The main street of the old downtown is named.... Main Street. Real creative folks here in the cultural backwater. We're looking south. Building has been there since shortly after the Ark grounded and has hosted a multitude of firms. Latest is a BBQ joint. Coot's sold a few tomatoes to the owner over the years, and other local firms that revel in fresh, tasty Coot-brand tomatoes. Coot, the local tomato king. At the south end of the BBQ joint a street is visible. Turn right, go three blocks, look to the right for the only gravel driveway and stop, do not enter. That's where the weirdo lives. The one that had all those "keep out" signs and with the unruly "lawn." Lawn Boy will tell you all about the guy who refuses to follow local norms and become infatuated with a lawn. Different view of the BBQ joint, looking north. Further up, the business district turns into residential with a few shanties but not of the caliber of the real shanty. Shantyville or Honkeyville? Look at this typical dwelling in this area (outside the small ghetto area near the old downtown where the shanty thrives) Look at the vermin trying to emulate the shanty's southern plantation look with those phony columns!!!! Well, Shantyville IS in the northern section of Tornado Alley: Elkhorn-area historical tornado activity is near Nebraska state average. It is 96% greater than the overall U.S. average. On 5/6/1975, a category 4 (max. wind speeds 207-260 mph) tornado 13.8 miles away from the Elkhorn city center killed 3 people and injured 133 people and caused between $50,000 and $500,000 in damages. On 4/25/1957, a category 4 tornado 15.9 miles away from the city center killed one person and injured 8 people and caused between $500,000 and $5,000,000 in damages. Omitted are the straight-winds that regularly cause hundreds-of-thousands of dollars of damage. We do get a lot of tornado warnings but have been lucky. They like to begin forming above us but don’t touch down until they reach Iowa, around 30 miles away. Nogoodniks: City-data.com crime index (higher means more crime, U.S. average = 325.2) Our 2005 average: 6,785.4 Hee hee, fooled yah'. Here it is: 55.7 Supposedly, Shantyville is the geopolitical entity within Nebraska with the highest average income: Most common occupations for males Top executives (10%) Other management occupations except farmers and farm managers (7%) Sales representatives, services, wholesale and manufacturing (7%) Other production occupations including supervisors (5%) Other sales and related workers including supervisors (5%) Computer specialists (4%) Retail sales workers except cashiers (4%) The "top executives" is what skews the averages. Omaha, Nebraska's largest city and a regional hub, is home-base for several major corporations. The rich folks escape the city to Shantyville, within commuting distance of Omaha. Doesn't take too many mega-millionaires to affect average income. There’s still a sizable percentage of the populace with above-average incomes. A few of the folks Coot ran off from parking on the shanty's lawn and driveway were likely some of the affluent folks. Never saw a beater car parked there, just expensive machines. Speaking of expensive machinery, Ferraris run around here, Saw a pristine Detomaso Pantera the other day. A wide variety of valuable and rare machines. One of the coolest was an AmphiCar parked at the grocery store. Checked it out and talked to the owner when he came out. This pic is from a club Web site but it's the same car and dude: Wanna' buy a bowling alley? It's across the highway, east of the old downtown. A new bowling alley is being erected, yes, Shantyville has an erection, down by the new interchange. Very conservative area here, kids. Hee hee. Thought about making a banner and some dark night hanging it on the old bowling alley..."Coming Soon!!! Lance's Lusty Ladies Strip Club and adult novelty store." The outcry would likely be heard from sea to shining sea. If only Coot could win the Lotto and afford to perform a few pranks. Since we're in the "new" but not "newest" retail area let's look at where Coot used to work on weekends and some nights: Worked in the deli of this small independent grocery store that burned down a year ago last January (Substituted at local schools during the day). Coot got to eat free!!!! Wheeee!!!! Not a bad job all-in-all. Had its moments. Coot knew how to handle picky customers...."That's too thick, I wanted it sliced thinner." Well, I didn't want to slice it thinner, would take a week to slice it that thin, so I told them that was how they were gonna' get it, take it or leave it. Only a couple left, the rest took it. Spoiled Americans!!!! Then there were the biddies (why is it always females?) who took forever to decide what they wanted. After what I deemed a suitable interval I told the lingerers they had 30-seconds or I would decide for them. Most would meet the time limit but there were a few I ended up deciding for, and they seemed to appreciate it!!!! We sure had good fried chicken there. Coot made it best. I altered the breading recipe and fry time. People actually waited for me to be there to buy the Coot-cooked chicken. When I took stuff home I paid for it, but I put the prices on. Wonderful discounts but the owners didn't care, they must have figured that was my benefit package. Coot sure kept the adjacent butchers giggling while interacting with the customers. At first they were shocked at my antics but soon realized how effective they were at increasing productivity along with entertaining most, but not all, of the customers. One old bat told the manager she was never coming back because of me. Manager inquired about the event but I just told him we were lucky to be rid of the old bat. Manager walked off, dropping the subject. Amazing what one can get away with at times. Too bad the place burned to the ground. Another corporate creep trying to emulate the shanty's southern plantation columns: Might be where the old bat who never came back to the store lives. Hussy. Bet her lawn's perfect, too. Maybe Lawn Boy and she should hook up. Ace hardware behind Dick's Market along with a small "strip mall" scaled down to Shantyville size. A few of those "strip malls" here and there: New apartments Bricked section of the Old Lincoln Highway, just east of the hamlet: More demographics!!!!! Daytime population change due to commuting: -1,659 (-27.4%) Workers who live and work in this city: 461 (15.0%) Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units in 2000: Elkhorn: 1.8% ($2,386) Nebraska: 1.7% ($1,478) Median.... I forget... isn't that the midway point between extremes? High property taxes back here. Let's go out in the country and look north. Look closely, way off in the distance. See the round thing sticking above the trees? That's the Shantyville water tower. Note the back-hoe. Urban sprawl is one result of the "immigration" policies and non-policies destined to result in a BILLION people in the USA. Some day, all this extremely fertile farm land will be covered with houses, streets, businesses, etc. Sigh.............. There. Hope you’re happy. Just don’t move here. It’s too crowded already. When certain events are concluded Coot will be free to move. Hoping to find a very rural place far from any large city. Out where shanties can be bought for 15- to 20-grand. When it happens…….. nope, no pics. Coot gonna’ hide. You betcha’.
 

obbop

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Preview showed the bowling alley pic. Didn't appear here. Maybe the server is overwhelmed or the coding of this board burps at multiple pics. Oh well. Revel in what is shown of Shantyville.
 
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I can hear the thunder of the stampede. Your paradise is doomed. Did you ever sell " Shoes "? Your counter demeanor would make it seem an appropriate vocation.
 
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Nah, that's a pic of a guy at work...at least is was when we discovered it a few years ago and put his name under it.
 

obbop

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Coot, one begins to wonder if you are native Nebraskan?
Parents both from Blair, NE. Mini-Coot born in Iowa when old man was there for work. Back to Blair soon after. Looked around at the backwards people close in nature and spirit to Appalachian hillbillies and started squawking and bawling until the folks said we had to get out of that place so they loaded up the car and moved to Californy, with mini-Coot around one year old. Reared in northern California with pert' near yearly trips during the summer back to Blair where countless kinfolk lived. Grandma lived in town. She had an outhouse until 1972 when her kids chipped in and had one built for her inside her shanty. Quite a difference between the two places. But, the brief visits over the years allowed knowledge to be gathered about differences in sub-cultures, people, climates, the whole gamut of the differences/similarities between two places. Plenty of good and bad in Californy and the same in Blair, whose proximity to Omaha made both places relatively similar barring the larger size of Omaha as compared to Blair. One thing noted in Blair and now, in Omaha, is the acculturation back here immerses many into a mind-set of obeying authority to an extreme, even if that authority is not worthy of leading or being followed. Institutions and bureaucracies are also kow towed to, to the point where individuality is too often looked down upon. Assimilate. Resistance is futile. Wondered about why it is so but could not find any studies so did my own informal research/study while performing my endless reading of non-fiction books. Over time, a conclusion was arrived at, a generality with no proof: the influx of German immigrants of the 1800s and early 1900s, some of my forebearers among them. German culture is one that trends towards obedience to authority. I see that tendency to this day. I enjoy making fun of the folks hereabouts. I see an "old buddy" system in local politics that would not be tolerated elsewhere. The taxpayers pay a steep price for that system. I see road construction jobs taking two and three years here that in other states are finished in a few months. I see a new road built at high cost only to be scraped away to bare dirt to be redone due to extreme defects in construction. I see an entire neighborhood with defective sewers that is awash in raw sewage after heavy rains, in basements and low-laying above ground areas yet before fixing that millions are spent for a pedestrian bridge across the Missouri River situated in a spot with little pedestrian traffic and usable, due to climatic conditions, only a few months yearly. I see a multi-million dollar convention center built in an area with little to attract outsiders. Other metro areas in this region have so much more to offer. Assurances made that the taxpayer will not have to cover costs; income revenue will pay the bill. Now, a few years later, it appears property taxes will rise again to..... pay for the convention center. Public debate included the requisite concern of what others elsewhere would think about Omaha if it didn't, also, have a convention center.Never any questions that I recall hearing/reading about who owns the land surrounding the center. Obey authority. No questions!! Tax breaks are given to incoming firms creating X amount of jobs. Infratructure, at times, built for the firm at taxpayer expense. Amount and duration of tax break? Confidential, public not allowed to know the amount. The majority of city police departments across the USA make public crime statistics; what where and when crimes occur. Assists newcomers in deciding what part of the city to live in, where to avoid, where to be alert. You can often get that info on-line as well as during a visit to the police department. Have done this myself when moving to a new town. Omaha? Overall crime rates are released but no details that would assist a citizen, that's classified info... even though taxpayer dollars pay for it. Over and over... the general attitude of obey authority or, in other words, be a sheep!!! OBEY!!!!! No questions!!!!! So MANY little things that add up to a morass of idiocy that would not be tolerated in many other geo-political areas. But, here, authority is to be OBEYED!!!!! Of course, California can't be that great since I became a refugee in 1993, fleeing the state I considered "home base" for the inanity and backwardness, the raw unadulterated provincialism of Nebraska. Shouldn't have to mention this but past experience requires this writer to mention that I am writing in generalities. There are always individual exceptions, especially in regards to human actions, behaviots, attitudes, etc. But, ON THE WHOLE, the folks hereabouts ARE different from the folks elsewhere... just as folks elsewhere are different than here. We ARE humans and share many traits but there are regional differences. My years driving long-haul allowed me to observe some of these differences. One observation among a multitude: As an avid AM radio news/call-in talk show listener, I have heard discourse about many topics in many places across the USA. Locally, during non-syndicated local call-in shows, I constantly hear talk show hosts and local callers mention how folks outside this area will view Omaha and/or Nebraska. Many of the locals are quite concerned with how others view them in regards to events/actions/etc that have taken place here. I can not recall hearing anywhere else such a concern with how outsiders will view them. It's termed "provincialism," I believe. Coot has called in and "asked" the radio show host and listeners a rhetorical question; when was the last time you even thought of Fresno CA, Tallahassee FL, Binghamton NY, El Paso TX, a multitude of towns and cities across the USA? Unless you have ties of some sort to another community, I doubt if you give much thought, if any, about the affairs of that community. I then reassure the local hicks that there is little to worry about...... it is doubtful if even a MINUTE minority of Americans outside this area give a second's thought, if even that much, about Nebraska or Omaha. Well, I hang up and the hicks are right back where they were.... so very concerned about what others think of them. Excess concern of what other's think. Leads to a herd mentality. Easily led by authority. I firmly believe that if fascism ever breaks out in the USA its seed will be in this area, along with the upper midwest: Kansas, Iowa, Dakotas, Nebraska, parts of Missouri, etc. Not that Nebraskans, on the whole, are bad people. Nay!!! BUT, after living outside the area then being immersed in the local sub-culture for 14 years... well, it IS a little different here.
 

obbop

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LOL! . . .
Kinda' looks like Pac-Man is eating some people.
 
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Coot finally someone I can relate too...I was born in raised in Central Florida and now living in Nebraska since 02...Yes things are different in Nebraska...I see the old buddy system you speak of quite frequently in Alliance...the conforming standards of the Nebraskan population is not limited to the Eastern part of the state...Luckily Happy, Hippy, Wonderful Colorado is just a few hours drive...
 
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"One thing noted in Blair and now, in Omaha, is the acculturation back here immerses many into a mind-set of obeying authority to an extreme, even if that authority is not worthy of leading or being followed. Institutions and bureaucracies are also kow towed to, to the point where individuality is too often looked down upon. Assimilate. Resistance is futile." This phenomena is not isolated to Nebraska, and it's not a German thing. It seems to be a sad tend everywhere.
 
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This phenomena is not isolated to Nebraska, and it's not a German thing. It seems to be a sad tend everywhere.
That's just a crazy statement YOU live near Seattle. What a joke of non-conformity!! I'm not saying conformity for the sake of conformity is a good thing - but humans do need some level of norms. ---- Dads and rumpranging moms does not make for a wholesome society. Heroin? Sure it's for pre-teens! Building in the swamps? Why not! Unreinforced brick in earthquake country? Go for it!!! But alas NE has control on these things....
 
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New software has been released called "Google Coot" This first photo shows the two most important things in life. Position of Coot and these United States. Ontario is included for reference to our friends in the GWN and we applaud them for a commitment to continuous supply of GC. Second photo is seagull's view of the shanty.
 

obbop

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You covered up the dern tomato plants ye young whippersnapper!!!!!!!
 
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This phenomena is not isolated to Nebraska, and it's not a German thing. It seems to be a sad tend everywhere.
That's just a crazy statement YOU live near Seattle. What a joke of non-conformity!! I'm not saying conformity for the sake of conformity is a good thing - but humans do need some level of norms. ---- Dads and rumpranging moms does not make for a wholesome society. Heroin? Sure it's for pre-teens! Building in the swamps? Why not! Unreinforced brick in earthquake country? Go for it!!! But alas NE has control on these things....
Pablo, I know you're a fairly intelligent fellow. We're not talking about conformity, we're talking about blind obedience to authority, and around here, there's quite a bit of it. Just as in the country as a whole. Of course, I'm not talking about "criminal" activity, but general attitudes. Neither Coot, nor myself are talking about listening to and obeying one's parent's. And even if we are talking about conformity vs. non-conformity, you know as well as I do that being a non-conformist around here is, in effect, conforming to expectations.
 
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