Friday, January 21, 2011

Town Dump Angst

Last year sometime I discovered a web service called Topix.  Specializing in below the national, regional, or state radar, it presents news of the local kind.  Topix is the Internet equivalent of the local paper that informs us of PTA meetings, local board issues, and events pending at churches, schools and local parks.  Topix also sponsors local forums for folks to speak their mind on any number of topics that may or may not be of any interest outside a ten mile radius.

My family and I have been active residents of Acton for 45 years.  53 years if you go back to when my aunt and uncle moved here.  Our family are keep to ourselves types.  We don't gossip, but will listen if it is offered.   And now that I have Topix, I do not have to wait for the juicy tidbits until that next trip to the dump or that next encounter with someone at the town hall while registering my truck two months late.  Every burning issue of the localized kind is there at my fingertips whenever I wish to check them out.

Acton may on the surface seem to be a very cosmopolitan and trendy place.  If there's a hot new camo pattern in hunt wear, you can bet our hunters are the first to show it off down to the Trading Post every November.  Using descriptive words like chic and hip do not do justice to the intense and often contentious socializing that goes on at the two bars we have within the town limits.  I hear some of the locals are not always asking for Bud Light on tap, but will often ask for Miller Lite.  Yeah, we have a very sophisticated population here in southern Maine.  Must be the influence of all those folks from away who crowd our lakes and our roads every summer.

So it is no wonder that the Topix forum dedicated to the Acton area is always busy.  Hot bed topics like the local pot gardens and who should be in charge of the road committee all get plenty of opinion and attitude.   Who is sleeping with who gets some attention.  Which town employee is the most corrupt or useless gets its fair share of attention.  But out of all the recent posts, the Town Dump is by far enjoying the most hits and posts.

The Town Dump is our social center.  Conversation and interaction with fellow citizens is as important there as tossing garbage in the hopper.  Having a pleasant visit there is paramount in the even flow of our local days.  When the rhythm of the Dump is interrupted or confused, the residents get pissy in a hurry.   The recent firing of two of the dump stalwarts has resulted in folks displaying their displeasure on the Topix forum.  My favorite dump guy, Rodgah was let go.  As was Irvin Pillsbury.  Both were bedrock employees for years.  A trip to the dump will never be the same without the smile of Rogah and the scowl of Irvin.  My world has been changed and I don't like it.  I had a bond with these guys.  They never questioned me or poked around my garbage.  They knew I was one of the responsible dump users and did my best to follow the rules.  Now?  Well, who knows.  We might end up with some Dump Nazis again like we had back in the 1990s. 

My stress index is spiking.


Anonymous said...

Not Rodgah! Wasn't he the guy who loved Stubby? I may have made that up. Acton Dump will never be the same.

Kulkuri said...

You still have a town dump???? I thought they went the way of the dodo in the last century!!

Demeur said...

Well, you know what they say "nothing stays the same".

They wanted to put speeding cameras in my little berg. You can imagine the uproar that caused.

MRMacrum said...

Anonymous - Rodgah always had a treat for Stub. And he always had a smile. Good man. I'll miss him.

Kulkiri - Actually they call it the "Acton Transfer Station" now. I just cannot get my head around such high falutin notions. It will always be the Dump in my mind.

MRMacrum said...

Demeur - Oops. Somehow I missed your comment.

No. Nothing remains the same. The evolution of the Acton Town Dump is a perfect example.

What's odd though is that while we here in the fringes of southern Maine do our best to keep pace with the hip and the now of the rest of America, the state and their recent cost cutting fad is determined to make us step back in many ways.

It used to take a county cop 45 minutes to respond to a call here in town. Now with less cops covering larger beats because of budget tightening, it takes up to 90 minutes to see one swing by.

Beach Bum said...

If there's a hot new camo pattern in hunt wear, you can bet our hunters are the first to show it off down to the Trading Post every November.

Oh my God! Its the same here! Except that the place where the new camo patterns are shown off is the local McDonalds. During deer season they crowd out nearly everyone else and the parking lot is filled with trucks, assorted hunting rifles mounted on back windshields, and the ubiquitous Confederate flags.

The Blog Fodder said...

The big city dumps are too high falutin' for visiting. They got more rules than a PTA meeting. I liked our small town dump many years ago. I could sort through it for wood I could use to build stuff. None of that any more.
Not sure what Ukraine has for town dump. I may follow the garbage truck there some Tuesday just to find out.

Tom Harper said...

I've never used Topix. I've only seen it because some of the visits to my blog are from Topix when they link to one of my posts.

I'll have to go see if my little neck of the woods is mentioned there.

BBC said...

I remember the good old days as a teen when we went to shoot rats at the dump.

Now we can't even pick up something cool and take it home with us, it's all trucked off to some landfill in Oregon. I miss the good old days.

I don't have a clue why Oregon would want our shit.

MRMacrum said...

Beach Bum - Good ole boys and rifle rack mentality is universal. Dialect, geography, and climate will never alter this one truth.

Blog Fodder - There is not supposed to be any dump picking here in Acton anymore either. But they look the other way most days. I often gaze fondly upon some castoff jewel as I toss my trash. But I was issued a wife rule about 15 years ago when I brought home a rocket ship that had been part of a carny ride. "If I ever see you bring something home from the dump again, you will not wake up in the morning."

I took back the red fiberglass rocket ship. The next day I spotted it in my neighbor's yard.

Tom Harper - I think they have their finger on every neck of the woods in the country.

BBC - Yeah, the days of fun at the dump are over.