Letter: ‘Be proud of where you live, keep it clean’
I am not "new" to the Gloucester area, but having spent 38 years in Central Florida, you might consider me a transplant or newcomer. Most of my childhood was spent in Gloucester and I have returned and have been living here the last year and a half. I am sure a lot of you who decided to make Gloucester your home have seen a lot of changes. Gloucester has grown, but to me it will always be the small, rural area I grew up in.
I have noticed a significant change here though! Unfortunately, it is not a good change. When I was a child here, life was simpler. My sister and I would walk to Buck Rowe’s store and trade in our soda bottles for money. I have been walking a lot now, and it is not soda bottles I find, but wrappers, cans, beer bottles, cigarette butts, cigarette packs and just plain garbage. I live on a short dirt road and when I moved here, I picked up three garbage bags of old beer cans, bottles, and just trash people had thrown from their automobiles. My friend and I have started walking after work and take trash bags with us to pick up garbage. Yesterday, we walked Tide-
mill Road. We only did one side of the road and did not make it to Route17 before all three bags were full.
When I ride to the Court House, I am amazed at the roadside. I do remember when there were signs posted for littering and that a fine was attached. Whatever happened to the slogan "Keep Virginia Beautiful?" I believe that most of the people that live here and have lived here do not see what I see. You are probably used to the colors of fall. I did not see fall for 38 years and every time I ride on the roads of Gloucester, I feel I am driving into a picture. It is truly one of the most beautiful sights I have seen, but it is disheartening to see that beauty distorted by the amount of garbage on the roadside.
Virginia is a beautiful state. Gloucester is your home. I believe most people do not have the habit of throwing garbage from their automobiles, but if you know someone who does, could you please encourage them to put garbage where it belongs? It does not belong on our roads.
I continue to walk and to pick up garbage. I have been told it is a waste of time. I have picked up garbage on roads only to find more trash the next day. I am not going to stop. I have heard the saying, "You are what you do." Those of you who do throw trash out of your automobiles, think about it. Are you what you do? Be proud of where you live, keep it clean.