Quaint Infrastructure

Folly Beach, the corner of 4th Street and East Huron

It’s a melancholy sight as I wend my way to the post office in the mornings, or to Chico Feo in the afternoons, to see Folly Beach’s quaint avenues blocked by tree removal trucks a-blare as they decimate aged oaks and remove palm trees to accommodate drooping electric lines that look as if they might have been strung sometime during the First World War. 

C’mon, y’all, this is the 21st Century! We’ve put men on the moon, perfected heart transplantation, and created contraptions that allow us to conjure whatever song or movie we’d like to hear or see right now – presto![1] Seems as if we could come up with some less primitive method of heating and illuminating our domiciles.

As I was watching the Micky Mouse Club in the 50s on my grandparents’ black and white Motorola, I expected that in the year 2021 we’d be zooming around in flying cars, not rumbling along in the diesel stench of city buses that look pretty much as they did during the Eisenhower Administration. I certainly don’t recall the cities of Tomorrow Land crisscrossed with utility poles and rusted out transformers. Thank God HG Wells isn’t alive to witness it.

Yours truly, in an alternate future off in my time machine to catch Josephine Baker at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées 

When I see one of the tree-cutting vehicles rumble past, I feel like screaming “butcherers,” but, the tree men are not ultimately responsible for the electrical grid, and I suspect in these latter days, most US citizens, if given the choice, would opt for refrigeration over an oxygen producing oak, no matter how majestic.

Utility Poles

I think I’ll never behold

A tree as useful as a utility pole.

A pole whose wires are connected

To power stations carefully selected,

Like hydroelectric plants in the upper state

That provide a reasonable utility rate,

A pole whose wires provide a perch

For winter birds without a birch,

A pole pointing to a godless sky

Where cumulus clouds go scudding by.

O, poems are made by fools like me,

But only power plants can generate electricity.

Like I said, I think I’ll never behold

A tree as useful as a utility pole.

I’m typing this caption right beyond those windows

[1] But we haven’t, damn it, found a cure for baldness (other than the tried-and-true method of pre-pubescent castration). 

2 thoughts on “Quaint Infrastructure

  1. Clever 🙂

    That’s always bugged me. I hate when people take it upon themselves to chop down a tree in their yard with some expectation of getting compliments on their yard. I guess attent

  2. *attention seekers associate the shade with privacy, and they’d prefer their yards lit up like a furnace for everyone to cringe at. People just like to demolish things, especially pretty things.

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