In June 28 issue, Russell County News By Barbara Sharp Zimmerman, Columnist
The other night just before midnight, I was awakened from a deep sleep by the sounds of firecrackers and other booming fireworks. I got up, looked out across my front yard and sure enough, my weekend neighbors were having a blast – at the expense of my rest.
The second time it happened that same night, I went to my door and yelled at the offenders to stop it. I was greeted by a torrent of obscenities, and I was not amused.
It’s no wonder so many local people can’t stand tourists, I thought.
Back in the days when I used to be a weekend and sometimes-for-a-week visitor to the lake, I couldn’t understand the provincial attitude so many locals had toward tourists.
You know, Uh-hians, mostly. The ones I came in contact with were pretty nice people, and some of them had unhappy stories to tell about local people. I was in the peculiar position of being both a former (and future) local and a tourist, too.
A couple of years ago, I built a house here, moved back to the Jamestown area and planned to live out my days in peace and serenity. Then came the tourist neighbors from hell.
These people have a junk SUV parked in their front yard permanently. They have blocked the street with their boats so that my paper and mail couldn’t be delivered. They have relieved themselves in their front yard for all the world to see.
They have brought dogs to poop in my yard and to try to prevent me from approaching my own mailbox. Their front yard is littered with junk and fallen limbs. Their house is in disrepair. They (and others) have left garbage and other debris at the point below my house from which we all swim. I have thought about naming the neighborhood “Nut Hill”.
I have been crowded off the road to my house by these sorts of visitors and their manhood-enhancing boats. Heck, they’ve even driven through my yard three times. Ignorant locals have only done that twice, to my knowledge.
What really irks me is when tourist types criticize something about our area and our people because we’re not just like where they came from.
Now, I’m not saying the whole bunch is bad, but a few bad apples certainly affect our attitude toward the rest, don’t they?
At times when I hear criticism, I am reminded of the immortal words of the late Jim Long, who is said to have told some critical tourists, “(Expletive deleted), there ain’t no toll gates!”
To the nice tourists – and they are legion, I say you’re welcome to come here to enjoy our beautiful lake and other amenities. Just remember, this is our town, our lake, our home.
To the others, I agree with Jim Long and would say:
If you don’t like things the way they are here, nothing’s stopping you from leaving. And don’t let the door hit you on the bum when you go.
It could set off some more of those infernal fireworks.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629