Summertime ramblings provide food for thought

Summertime ramblings provide food for thought

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By Kevin Bowden

Summertime ramblings provide food for thought | Kevin Bowden, Just A Thought

My truck thermometer hit 84 degrees Wednesday afternoon.
That prompted me to hit the A/C button on the dash.
I popped in a Jimmy Buffett CD (Barometer Soup for fellow Parrotheads).
Summer can’t be too far away.
Teens are beginning their countdown to summer vacation, and I suspect so, too, are teachers around the county.
I actually ventured out into the yard this past weekend and did a little work. The garden rake has been broken in and I already have a few scrapes and bruises to show for my efforts.
In my mind, summer involves shorts and T-shirts, enjoying a dip in the pool, playing catch in the yard with the dog and the joy of cooking on the grill. Those are all wonderful images, but I should know better.
The reality of summer will quickly set in with unbearably hot and humid days that cause excessive sweating, and a honey-do list of yard chores that will break my back and my spirit.
It’s image vs. reality, too, for my vegetable garden.
I have all these great plans for taking young tomato plants and tending to them as they mature and produce juicy Roma and cherry tomatoes. Wonderful images, yes, but truth is, the tomato plants (like me) wither and bake under the oppressive summer sun and my crop consists of only a handful of ’maters.
Oh, the joys of summer in the South.
And in this crazy world of ours, even summer vacation plans are looking a little bleak. I usually think of the ideal vacation in terms of sandy beaches, dining out, touring new sites or enjoying a relaxing afternoon watching a spectacular sunset.
But considering recent events, the list of travel options is really being narrowed down.
As for me, I don’t think I’ll be taking an ocean cruise any time soon.
Consider the woes of the Carnival cruise line and its seemingly jinxed ships. Passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph suffered through an awful five-day ordeal in the Gulf of Mexico following an engine fire aboard the cruise ship. The televised conditions aboard the ship have caused me to reconsider any plans I had for a cruise vacation.
And certainly a visit to South America’s Rio De Janeiro is out. It may be good enough for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, but I’ve been reading about tourists being assaulted and beaten by local thugs. I’m reading news reports that use such descriptive terms as “six-hour-long nightmare,” “drug violence” and “shocked,” so that can’t be good, right?
While I’m rambling on about summery things, I’d like to bring up a few ideas.
This is going to be the year Discovery Park of America opens off Everett Boulevard.
I’d like to see more work being done on tourism development.
When Discovery Park opens, what are all our tourists going to do after visiting the complex?
It’s an interesting question considering the fate of VF Factory Outlet on the north side of town. Let me elaborate.
When it was announced VF was coming to town, there was talk of busloads of tourists flocking to Union City and that was going to bring about big changes for the city.
Guess what.
It never happened.
I don’t want the same fate to befall us twice.
I firmly believe we have plenty of local walking tracks, how about looking into some other recreational facilities — a public swimming pool, new tennis courts and a new community center. As far as business development, we need more restaurants, hotels and a KOA campground, and I really hope Union City’s movie theater doesn’t have to close.
Just a little food for thought. …
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 4.12.13

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