Just make sure the new door (that opens) leads somewhere. This one in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, doesn’t.
In what appears a whimsical move, the owner of this property on lower Main Street, Spruce Pine, has left the door, its molding, and side brick panels, opening onto nothing. If nothing else, it provides amusement and interesting perspective and is appreciated for what it is: Street Art.
But perhaps that owner suggests another message. I leave that up to you. (Young woman in picture is daughter, Amanda Mellor. Photo by CKMellor.)
The town of Spruce Pine, North Carolina stands as a symbol of what is happening across America. It eerily demonstrates the negative effects of outsourcing on our nation’s industries. At one time, this town was at the forefront of a bustling lumber region, feeding North Carolina’s healthy furniture-making business (the now-defunct lumber yards and warehouses sit quiet, seemingly frozen in time). Why? The town has seen its industry go overseas: Consumers today unwittingly buy cheaper furniture brought in from foreign regions where there are no unions; there’s no minimum wage; and workers have few rights.
End result: We save in the immediacy but we lose overall.
How else are these small towns affected? The young have left and along with them, their promise…They had no choice; they could find no jobs.
Biddy will soon highlight another local town and industry that stand as exceptions in that they refused to “go under.” They remain true testament to American ingenuity and the indominable American spirit, the same collective commitment from workers that made this country great in the past.
It’s well-past time for a resurgence of that same spirit across America.
We need to find (and open) that other door.
(An old truck sits aside an abandoned business in Spruce Pine, NC. Photo: CKMellor, 2011)