Mrs. E and I shopped at Four Seasons Flea market this morning. I parked next to a car with a psychedelic colored bumper sticker. I noted it said something about Woodstock. As I put on my glasses I was better able to read it. The sticker had a picture of an AK 47 rifle and said, “This is the only Woodstock I remember.” Not exactly the same message of peace and love as the Woodstock concert. I guess when the car’s owner was buying a bumper sticker they were all out of “I’m a pinheaded redneck asshole” stickers. Once I entered I saw the same goof selling T-shirts I wrote a poem about several years ago. His T-shirts had a drawing of an AK 47 and said, “Youngstown” under that. He had other ones that stated, “Youngstown Mob Town.” The mob left half a dozen decades ago but this guy will live in the past if he can make a buck. As our area tries to move ahead for the next generation’s sake, we still have sorry assed dinosaurs who want to drag us down to their caveman level. It is time to close the door on dark days. Only then can you move forward which is really the wonderful part of life. Let me post this poem again to remind the T-shirt seller and his ilk that it is time to move on.
Youngstown Makes the Today Show
My alarm clock noisily rings
like every work day at 6:45 am.
I sit up in bed and click on the TV.
I view the local news,
followed by the Today Show.
The local news features a story
about the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI).
Reserve Data relocated from the Silicon Valley
and has moved their office into the YBI.
There is no mention of this good news
on the Today Show that follows.
On the following Sunday I shopped at
the Four Seasons Flea Market in Youngstown.
A vendor was selling T-shirts
picturing an AK-47 assault rifle.
Below the gun was the word, Youngstown.
I ask the vendor if he had any T-shirts
picturing the Youngstown Business Incubator.
He replies, “Just these” pointing
to the AK-47 shirts.
On another morning the local news
happily reports Youngstown’s V+M Steel is expanding.
The owner is spending $650 million on the project.
There was no word of this event
on the Today Show that followed.
While getting fresh fruit and vegetables
on my weekly Four Seasons Flea Market trip,
I again see the Ak-47 Youngstown T-shirt vendor.
I ask him, “Do you have a shirt with a V+M Steel picture?”
He replies, “Just these AK-47 Youngstown T-shirts.”
Sometime later I awoke to more good news,
the local TV station was talking about an area business.
The Lordstown GM plant’s Cruze automobile
was being heralded, by automobile magazines,
as one of the best new cars
in its class and price range.
No mention of the Chevy Cruze
on the Today Show that followed.
My Sunday’s Four Seasons visit
did not turn up any Chevy Cruze T-shirts,
just the AK-47 Youngstown standby model.
This past Monday’s local morning TV news
started its broadcast on a very sad note.
One YSU student was shot and killed
and eleven others were wounded
at an off campus fraternity party.
The Today Show followed and this time
they had found a Youngstown event
that they didn’t want to ignore.
I suspect the Four Seasons Flea Market vendor
was watching the Today Show.
I’m sure he smiled widely
picked up his phone
and called his supplier
and ordered a big batch
of AK-47 Youngstown T-shirts.
Johnny Clegg “Don’t Walk Away”
“When in doubt, choose change.”