It Takes A Trailer Park To Raise A Veteran

Right Wing Maniacs like yours truly often get weary of communist buzzwords.  These may be subjective or objective in nature, but perception is reality as the saying goes.  Literally anything and everything was considered a communist threat when Generation X was coming up.  As we age with the machine, we can reflect on why we raged against it more thoughtfully.  We can share with all generations what we have learned, and we hope to learn from all generations.

As a young woman in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I quickly learned that none of my deep Florida roots that preceded the evolution of the Florida Gators mattered.  I was a Flankee.  An interloper.  An outsider.  For a Flankee even to ask the hostess at the nicotine drenched Coliseum Kitchen was considered an act of communism.  More on that here available for your reading pleasure: Sun Tzu’s Confederacy: Caregiving in Context

Asking for unsweet tea at a BBQ in Kernersville and eating Carolina Gold Chicken instead of Pork Ribs was also a suspected red threat.  Being from a broken home, which was normal in Florida, was not yet normal in North Carolina.  Thank God for that.  I experienced being excluded from social events with my peers because parents did not want their children exposed to so-called “Latchkey Kids”.  We had been exposed to people and places their children had not, and we didn’t know anything different.  Flankees were often welcomed after school in the homes of Adam and Steve, because Mom and Dad had become too ego driven to get along under the same roof.  Divorce did more to destroy our trailers than tornadoes and we did not appreciate that at all.  Right Wing Maniacs should focus more on the universal value of caring for themselves and one another more than any other value.  America’s culture still embraces violence and war more than empathy and love.  Until this changes, a culture of death will continue.

We were considered dangerous, because we seemed feral children from broken homes.  We noticed that children from communist countries whose parents took refuge in the United States had never heard of divorce, but they sure made good grades and were polite.  We notice that much of the conversation focuses on how America could save the world, but we believe America should focus more on how the world could save us with better values.  To say the least, the entire scare over communism caused us all a great deal of suffering in that day.  The suffering was especially for hard for Veterans who came home to a culture increasingly inimical to Military values.  Caregivers worked hard to make our little trailer park homes a Heaven on Earth, since war is truly hell.

So I can imagine the suffering Hillary Clinton experienced from Right Wing Maniacs who did not appreciate her use of the African proverb,  “It Takes A Village To Raise A Child” for her book’s title.

While we as Generation X Right Wing Maniacs never want to willingly engage in cultural appropriation, we know the wisdom of African Elders well.  We get what Hillary Clinton was saying, but the red scare in us thought that it takes a village, not a growing Federal government.  We were raised on hate and shame as much as Ramen Noodles and food stamps.  The terms “confederacy” and “Federal government” became more misunderstood and contested than the word “communism” had in our earlier youth.  We believed the world needed to look more like our trailer park than a behemoth bureaucracy that seemed to mock us more than represent us.  Trailer parks were the butt of everyone’s cultural joke, but the first to pay taxes and volunteer for Military service.  Perhaps we were wrong to criticize Hillary Clinton so vehemently.  Yet we got her meaning.  The constant criticism of her became same-y to us Caregivers, and we had to admit she was right about one thing, the Rape Shield Law.

Right Wing Maniacs love to eschew the Federal government until a tornado strikes and FEMA comes.  We admit our hypocrisy, and defer to our African Elders’ wisdom.  It does take a village to raise a child.  We have felt the warmth of their wisdom, and the sting of their rod when we disrespected their authority as youngsters growing up in a public education system where corporal punishment was the norm.

The village has often been used by communist dictators the world round to explain a concept that Right Wing Maniacs know well.  Family.  Extended Family.  Community.  Neighborhood.  Church Family.  These social structures form a village, or in our concept, a trailer park.  All these social structures are seen by the left as hot beds for authoritarian hyper-nationalism (which is not entirely inaccurate) as “village” is a buzz word for authoritarian communism by the right (which is not entirely inaccurate).

With that in mind, we offer you another free apprenticeship to understand better America’s most mocked and misunderstood villages; the trailer parks.  Is the village in the trailer park, or is the trailer park in the village?  Both.  Trailer parks remain America’s most misunderstood neighborhoods, in my most humble opinion.  As America makes a move toward minimalism, we hope the trailer park will get an upgrade.

As a child, the Wagon Wheel Trailer Park in Ocala, Florida was a safe place where Avon sales supplemented long haul trucker incomes, foster children were treated like birth children, birth children were not considered Mattel toys, and no one had a mortgage.  Everyone had a Ford F-150, or a Dodge Ram, and there were a few Chevrolet trucks.  There was a constant and well spirited civil war over which brand was better.  Naturally, Ford usually won the fight, since we drove a little brown Ford Pinto that never failed in spite of massive public distrust of the brand.  No one had heard of a Toyota truck yet.

When I upgraded my trailer park experience to the Riverside Mobile Home Park on Highway 2 in Chattaroy, Washington, the same healthy spirit of community was alive and well.  Blue collar families kept homes that were jam up and jelly tight.  Neighbors knocked on doors with homemade casseroles when neighbors got laid off or broke their leg on the job.  Then Kaiser Aluminum Trentwood shut down.  Things changed quickly here.  I could not blame the owners of capital.  Many of the union members in our trailer park told tales of how the less responsible union members bragged about sleeping and drinking on the job, while they all came to work early with their lunch pail packed by their family Caregivers, and stayed until the job was done.  In that day, it seemed most of our working class commuted from Highway 2 to Kaiser Trentwood some 30 miles southeast.  It seemed those who rejected working class values chased companies away with their ego driven “it’s not my job” attitude.  Aluminum workers in Ghana were smarter than us, because they still had jobs and families.

When Kaiser Trentwood shut down, meth moved in and hope moved out.  Children who were never brought to a Friday night pizza party at Deer Park United Methodist Church were soon putting the meth in methodism.  We as elders had failed to teach them better methods of coping with stress.  It seemed adults were too busy making ends meet to establish correct social relationships with their children, and our entire community had lost its sense of unity and warmth.  Disheveled yards replaced once orderly lots.  Distrust of neighbors replaced once open conversation and aide that respected healthy neighborly boundaries.  Yet on 9/11 many 18 year old residents who had just graduated from Riverside High School volunteered for our Armed Forces without hesitation.   Diversity and inclusion are not concepts often discussed in trailer parks, as much as unity and exclusion of all threats foreign and domestic are quite well known.  We must do a better job to include everyone in the trailer park, because unity is only achieved in respecting diversity.

When our only Black resident was called a racial epithet by another resident making a foolish threat, he was quickly corrected by more thoughtful residents.  I do not believe it was because he was Black so much as he was a Marine, not an ex-Marine (there is no such thing as an ex-Marine).  He was defended because he was a wonderful husband, father, uncle, neighbor and had several cousins who visited in the summer and were loved by all.  He was a well known fisherman and outfitter who knew Priest Lake’s honey holes well.  He put his heart and soul into his community, and it is in his memory that this free apprenticeship is offered to everyone.

It is to that end that I hope you will take the trailer park in context and give its residents greater esteem.  The trailer park is in the village, and the village is also in the trailer park.  I hope we continue to connect via a marriage of opposites rather than a war.  I hope everyone will feel welcome in fact at every trailer park in America and in the entire world.  Trailer parks operate much like the villages in Africa, where neighbors help one another and people are not all scrunched up at one another.  When one neighbor has excess firewood, and the other neighbor has excess homemade Huckleberry jam, we barter.  We do not shop so much as barter and trade.  We know that our word is the only thing we can give and still keep.

These two concepts cannot be decoupled any more than we can decouple rights from responsibilities.  With that in mind, please enjoy the above General Principles for your new free apprenticeship from Heidi Duty.  Thanks for visiting.

#VetSafe #TeamUSA #globalstandards #supercozy #Caregivers