Skewering Savages unseemly
I’ve lived in Bethel for over 25 years now. My, my how the time goes by. For just about all of those 25 years, I’ve watched the unseemly sport of skewering the Savages go on unrelenting and with great gusto. I wonder if it will ever stop.
I wonder if many of you, after reading Ron’s letter of last week, had any idea of the many charitable efforts he and his family have put forth without ever mentioning it. I know that I was unaware of most of them. What I am aware of is how much pleasure is taken when any of them perhaps stands up to fight for what he believes in and runs afoul of the “powers that be.” Those stories get a great deal of ink in the Bethel Citizen and in the Lewiston Sun and only a mention of the fact that the last dust-up was dismissed in court.
Any of you who remember the days of the Backstage will remember that I was always opposed to the onerous sign ordinance that has made it difficult to do business in this town. Radio and television advertising is very expensive and for almost all of the small businesses in Bethel, the only avenue they have to draw people into their establishments is their signage. As an aside, because the Backstage was grandfathered, I could have put a glaring neon sign on the top of the roof but decided not to in order to be a good citizen of the Town of Bethel. However, as you know, no good deed goes unpunished. I know that the current owner of the Funky Red Barn, formerly known as the Backstage, has been tormented over and over by cranky neighbors who dragged him into the town office over and over again with absolutely absurd complaints.
But then, I digress. There are many people in this town that would prefer that there were no businesses in town. Nothing to spoil the pristine image of the Currier and Ives feel of the town. Too many of you who feel that way have come up from somewhere else where you made your living and now want to retire and dictate to everyone else how they should live their life. Too many of you would love to put loggers out of business, restaurants, bar owners and any other business in town that doesn’t match your idea what your town should look and be like. Again, to repeat myself, that’s after you made your money somewhere else.
Too many times in my 25 years in Bethel, I’ve watched the board of selectmen, the planning boards, or a town manager exercise their power to figure out why somebody could NOT do what they wanted to do rather than help them find a way to get their personal dream off the ground.
There should be some rights left in this country that can’t be trampled on by groups of people who believe that only their vision of the world is acceptable.