Changes that can’t be measured

MTGomer

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I had a pretty disappointing experience with society today.

Coming back home in my older Jeep I stopped to grab a pizza. When I came back out, the jeep would not start. I checked the fuses and made sure the battery connections were good, the wiring to the starter - all of that. Didn’t have much for tools on me and I’m not very mechanical anyways but it wasn’t those things.
It’s a manual but the parking lot is flat. I figured if I could get it going good enough I could probably compression start it, but I’d need a little help pushing it. I asked a couple people but they wouldn’t help me so I grabbed my water and walked home. After getting home and drinking some more water and letting it cool down to around 105, I rode my bike back down there to get my valuable stuff out of it and/or hopefully find some useful people that would help me. I brought cash.
The very first group I asked were four young men that couldn’t have been older than 19.
I asked them if they would give me 30 seconds of their time to push my jeep. They said no. I pulled a wad of cash out of my pocket and offered them $50 apiece. The one said “Nah bro. We good“

Over the next few minutes I asked a few other people who either ignored me or said no.

Then, walking out to the newer, lifted Chevy pick up beside me came a large , clean cut man, well over 6 foot who clearly lifts weights and maybe does a few steroids, with a very large stainless semi-auto handgun strapped to his hip, open carrying like so many do down here. I figured I was in luck. He would be strong and certainly not afraid of me, at 5’ 11” 155 pounds dripping sweat in the parking lot.

Nope. This guy wouldn’t even look at me either. Completely ignored me.

The jeep is no big deal. It’s like 2 miles away from my mechanic’s, is being towed there in the morning and whatever it is, is some small electrical issue. He’ll have it going Tuesday for a couple hundred dollars.


The point of this post is that when people from small towns, like the one I am from in Montana complain about how outsiders are changing their state, you can point to things that are easy to measure that are changing. An increase in applicants for your favorite Hunting District, the median price of a home in Bozeman being over $800,000. The number of acres that have been closed, often illegally, by fly-in/fly-out, nonresident, billionaire landowners.

I’m talking about the things that are harder to measure. If this would’ve happened in Huson or Frenchtown or Drummond or Phillipsburg, or Butte or even Billings, I would not have even had to ask for help. Every self-respecting man and most of the women that witnessed this would have offered their help without a second thought.

If you live in a small town with a sense of community, fight like hell to keep it. Because once it turns into a place like Maricopa, Arizona, that is gone.
My first thought is that these people are cowards and pussies, but that’s not it. It’s just a cultural thing and let me tell ya… The culture in the small towns that we are from sure beats the hell out of this culture.
 
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BuzzH

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Stopped this week to help a couple from Quebec Canada that had bought a 67 chevy truck and were driving it back to Canada.

Waterpump gave out on the Dubois side of togwotee pass and their cell phone wouldn't work. All they needed was someone to have a tow truck come get them. Called when we got to Dubois for them. Next morning I noticed the truck was at the service station and the guy was replacing the water pump himself.

He said we were the first rig to pull over and offer any help.
 

MTGomer

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And just to clarify this isn’t South Phoenix, or a bad area at all.
Hell, we just got our first apartment building like 10 months ago. Otherwise it is nearly all single-family, middle-class neighborhoods, many of them gated. There’s no homelessness, vagrants, panhandlers, anything like that here.
I think it averages less than a homicide per year. Almost no property crime. Extremely safe place. Not the kind of place you worry about a stranger mugging you in a parking lot, or trying to hit you up for change for drugs, so you avoid eye contact.
 

D_Walt

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That is a pretty sad reflection on the state of our society. Also possible the younger guys had never heard of or seen a standard shift vehicle and thought it suspicious you could push start it or maybe you were on drugs.

At home in San Antonio I still think one could easily get plenty of help in a situation like that, but I’m not sure. As a broad generalization, I do sincerely wish crap hole places like California and Illinois would quit sucking so badly and their people would quit moving around spreading their societal cancer.
 
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Big Fin

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That is disturbing, even depressing. I guess it is a reflection on our society, what we've become, and where we are going. I wish it was not the case, but I fear it is more common that we would like to admit.

A couple winters ago, when I was out of town, Mrs. Fin got slid off the road into some soft snow out here south of town. While she was on the phone asking me what to do, a couple rigs stopped, some young guys jumped out, hooked on a tow strap, and had her back on the asphalt in no time. She offered to pay them. Nope, they would have none of it. Hopefully there are more of these folks around than the kind you encountered.

I can't think of the reasons or circumstances that would prevent me from stopping to help someone. I've been the beneficiary a few times when I needed a hand and it was both helpful and reinforced my opinion that people are generally good. Stories like this don't do anything for my optimism of people being helpful.
 

BuzzH

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That is a pretty sad reflection on the state of our society. Also possible the younger guys had never heard of or seen a standard shift vehicle and thought it suspicious you could push start it or maybe you were on drugs.

At home in San Antonio I still think one could easily get plenty of help in a situation like that, but I’m not sure. As a broad generalization, I do sincerely wish crap hole places like California and Illinois would quit sucking so badly and their people would quit moving around spreading their societal cancer.
Its not just people from California and Illinois, the jerkass that was throwing garbage all over that I turned in today for littering is likely a good 'ol homegrown Wyoming asshole.
 

nick87

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Its not just people from California and Illinois, the jerkass that was throwing garbage all over that I turned in today for littering is likely a good 'ol homegrown Wyoming asshole.
No but they make up the majority..ask me how I know. Mowing grass today with a one and three year old on my lap out in the ditch. Someone through a icehouse tallboy in the ditch infront of the house. While mowing it blew out in the road unintentionally. Guy comes over the bridge locks his brakes up gets out and whips it back into my yard while shouting shit I couldn't here with the mower going and took off. All I could think of was God I hate you transplant c#@ksuckers, so maybe I'm part if the problem too?
 

Flylo

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Uff…that’s painful. About a week ago I encountered a couple in butte, and they looked “butte tough” trying to push start a pickup. I stopped and offered assistance. They tried to turn me down but I wasn’t having it. If the guy had tried to offer me 50$ I would have said something along the lines of na I’m good.
Not trying to toot my own horn but your post made me think about exactly the point your trying to make. Be kind and it will come full circle.
 

Hem

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Campground host at Georgetown Lake told me about a camper who stayed beyond checkout by 3 hours, AND abandoned a cooler full of trout.
Oh yeah, non resident cop.
Scumbags abound.
 

BuzzH

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That is disturbing, even depressing. I guess it is a reflection on our society, what we've become, and where we are going. I wish it was not the case, but I fear it is more common that we would like to admit.

A couple winters ago, when I was out of town, Mrs. Fin got slid off the road into some soft snow out here south of town. While she was on the phone asking me what to do, a couple rigs stopped, some young guys jumped out, hooked on a tow strap, and had her back on the asphalt in no time. She offered to pay them. Nope, they would have none of it. Hopefully there are more of these folks around than the kind you encountered.

I can't think of the reasons or circumstances that would prevent me from stopping to help someone. I've been the beneficiary a few times when I needed a hand and it was both helpful and reinforced my opinion that people are generally good. Stories like this don't do anything for my optimism of people being helpful.
I totally agree, what we've become in the last several years is truly depressing.

My wife and I were talking today, we're seriously considering spending significant time living somewhere else during parts of the year in retirement.

I don't think it would be too difficult to find another country to live in part time that has friendlier people, more considerate people, and a place where they actually appreciate your money.

Its as if you're doing people a favor spending your money for chit service and chit products. I'm over it.
 

D_Walt

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Its not just people from California and Illinois, the jerkass that was throwing garbage all over that I turned in today for littering is likely a good 'ol homegrown Wyoming asshole.
No doubt, we have a bunch of homegrown a-holes here too. Just a a generalization and from my own experiences people from California and a few other places moving here by the hundreds of thousands per year have a substantially different view of helping your neighbor & being friendly to strangers than the average native.
 

Nameless Range

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Sad story Gomer.

How does a place hold on to the culture where this doesn’t happen? Part of me wonders if it is borne of a culture of fear, where everyone is skeptical of those claiming to need help having different motives. I think of those folks who stopped on the side of the road to help someone who appeared to be broken down in Pryor Montana a few years back, and ended being gunned down by a lunatic. From good samaritans to being murdered in front of their child . Is this type of thing on peoples minds?


I know you said that it was a nice neighborhood, but I wonder if the larger themes of Arizona in general influence people.

Having spent many years broke and driving pieces of chit, I’ve been saved on the side of the road more times than I can count. I have also Helped others, and both fill you with the good stuff, and I do my best to show this to my kids, who I also expect to jump out of the car on the side of the road, whether it is with a shovel or a tow strap or a willingness to push, when they are out in this world.
 

MTGomer

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I totally agree, what we've become in the last several years is truly depressing.

My wife and I were talking today, we're seriously considering spending significant time living somewhere else during parts of the year in retirement.

I don't think it would be too difficult to find another country to live in part time that has friendlier people, more considerate people, and a place where they actually appreciate your money.

Its as if you're doing people a favor spending your money for chit service and chit products. I'm over it.

The place you’re looking for is called Costa Rica
 

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