August 16, 2001

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if we lived in a great big trash can? Apparently there are plenty of people who feel like the world is their own personal garbage disposal. What else can explain the piles of cans, wrappers and other litter that line the Memphis City Square each morning? Come on folks is it that hard to walk across the street and put your empty bottles, candy wrappers and other litter in the trash can?

Put yourself in the shoes of a business owner, or for that fact any citizen of the City of Memphis who crosses the square on their way to church or grandma's for Sunday dinner. It looks terrible to see piles of beer cans and other litter sprayed across the square. It is degrading to our town. Show a little civic pride and put your litter in the trash can. I'm not asking you to create one of those groups complete with your own road signs that say, "This stretch of the Memphis Square is maintained by the Underage Drinkers Club of Memphis". Just wait until you get home or park next to a dumpster somewhere to clean out the litter from your car.

If the town pride issue doesn't hit home, lets look at this in another perspective. How would you like 20 or 30 people to gather in your front yard all night and then leave a couple trash bags full of cans and other litter scattered across your yard?

Here's another side of the equation. Don't get me wrong, I know not all the litter is coming from kids, and not even all of it is from people that live here in Scotland County, but some of it most definitely is. We use the square for the annual school Homecoming parade. How would you feel if the opposing team came to Memphis the night before the event and emptied their trash on the parade route? How about the fact that Homecoming and just about any other activity that goes on at the school is strongly supported and sponsored by the businesses on the square as well as the rest of the community. Here we are back at that community pride issue. These people support you in everything you do, so why dump trash on them?

I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed to gather on the square and enjoy each other's company. I'm not complaining about any of the other stuff that goes on into the wee hours of the morning. This is a small, rural community and it is a time-proven tradition to cruise the square. It's probably the longest running social tradition in the community and I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who feel like I do now, but who 10, 20 or 30 years ago were doing their fair share of cruising the square. All I'm saying is that if you don't want to lose all these privileges, please clean up your own mess when you're done.

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