Well, Marley, I used to live outside of the city — for 22 years actually — surrounded by born and raised Southerners and it wasn’t better. In fact, I had neighbors that were downright scary on top of being belligerent and filthy-mouthed. I had to worry about them shooting me or someone else. One neighbor used to throw his trash in the yard and set it on fire. Twice the fire spread into our yard! He also put an old refrigerator in his front yard and sat on his porch and shot at it. Bullets ricocheted into our yard.

Another neighbor kept his Rottweiler chained for months until the poor creature broke free and jumped our fence to get away. I found him cowering on our carport. The chain was embedded in his neck. I took him to the vet who said it was one of the worse cases of animal abuse he’d ever seen. The Rottie was 30 lbs under weight and the chain had to be surgically removed. The neighbor came looking for his dog and threatened to kill whoever took the dog. I was lucky to find the dog a home since I couldn’t bring him back to my house. $300 and two months later he was a beautiful, healthy Rottweiler. I have many more stories just as bad as these.

The only reason people didn’t drive like maniacs on our country road was because it was limerock and full of potholes! But, twice drunk drivers ran off the road and ploughed through our fence and three times our mailbox was demolished.

Overall, city life is much better in spite of the neighborhood speeding problem and my recent street confrontation.

But, when I was raised in rural Virginia, people were polite, helpful, and courteous. Life and people were different back then. Civilization is definitely sliding backwards.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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