Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Who in the World Lives in Coltons Point?

In an earlier story we gave you a thumbnail sketch of Where in the World is Coltons Point and now we think you should know a little about Who are the people of Coltons Point just in case you ever get lost and wind up there. Defining this cast of characters requires no small effort but the Diner crowd will do the best they can.

The first installment is a primer in sociological, demographic, and analytical research although Hillbilly Joe thinks we also need to factor in archeological (Hillbilly calls it “old stuff”), anthropological (Hillbilly calls that “stupid people stuff”), and historical (Hillbilly calls that “dead people stuff”) factors.

Rumor has it, and rumor is more than enough validation to justify headlines in today’s news, rumor has it the University of Maryland undertook a study of Coltons Point once to determine if it really was a microcosm of the USA as a whole. They assigned a team of social scientists (eggheads), demographers (numbers junkies) and analysts (out of work teachers) to see what they could find. They were no match for the Coltons Pointers.

First they applied genealogy principles and discovered a host of families that had been here practically since the beginning of civilized time, which we identify as the point the Catholics came and went. The original Pointers (Native Americans) that greeted the pilgrims would most certainly dispute the definition of the “beginning of civilized time”, as they would call it the beginning of the “End Times” according to ancient prophecy, but they were all driven away and have no voice in history.

Seems the more the researchers studied the original Pointers the more patterns they detected. Mostly they found over time all the prominent original families inter-married with each other so today you don’t marry into one family but the whole bunch of them.

Next the researchers turned to social factors such as class stratum and this was a little easier to define. Yes, Coltons has a colorful social stratum with layers of old money, new money, old families, new families, people with a rich hereditary legacy, those mysteriously with no past, etc., ad infinitum. Too many choices so they tried to categorize the folks.

First, there were the Civilizers (original families) and Uncivilized (new ones which also includes the colorful River Men). They neatly fit into some sub demographics like in boating – you either had a Yacht or a fishing boat. You played golf at the Country Club or Cow Pasture pool. The Uncivilized baited their own hook while the civilized hired someone to do it. Everyone had riding mowers, not a good class distinction, but the Civilized hired someone to drive it. Manicured yards were generally Civilized while natural swamp was the work of the Uncivilized.

The Civilized were required to be Optimists, were overseers of the Museum, must buy tickets to every activity that offered a dinner with real tablecloths, were committed to building a lighthouse, and had a septic system that could power at least two bathrooms.

As for the Uncivilized, they figured you didn’t have to join a group to be an optimist, they were more likely than not to be on display in the museum, they can’t rightly see paying for food when they catch all the fish, crabs and oysters they want for free, they are not too excited about building a lighthouse for a riverbank since there aren’t a lot of traffic jams on the river, and as for the septic, they never much saw the need for it in the first place, the two-holers worked just fine.

Yes, the researchers finally gave up discovering what we already knew, the Pointers are a unique, colorful, non-conforming and independent group of folk who all shared a common purpose, protecting themselves, their families and each other from the “outside” world. We may not be a definitive microcosm of the USA as it is today, but we are a microcosm of what the New America should look like.

Neighbors get to know their neighbors and are always willing to help out, regardless of the social, economic, religious or political beliefs. Down here there is only one class, fellow Americans, though it may include a variety of beliefs. Do your own thing but respect others right to do their thing. If your neighbor can’t bait their hook do it for them.

People here generally don’t see through blinders unless they walk on four legs. Oh they might not agree with you on some things, but more often than not they will never argue, respecting your right to have your own silly ideas. Old values in a new world, colonists trapped in a bureaucratic republic, independent survivors in a world of inter-dependence, that’s what you find down here at the Diner.

So don’t be surprised if you see the slogan of all the locals, regardless of race, creed, color, or class, PROUD TO BE A POINTER!

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