Editorial: Bake sales and outlaws

Why we love living in Greenlee

By Walt Mares

You are uptight. You are angry. Ah, you are irritable. Nothing pleases you. Nothing seems to satisfy you.

Perhaps you are carrying the weight of the world upon your shoulders. Then again, perhaps you are simply an ungrateful jerk.

Do not be offended. I admit that at times I, too, can run with the best of them – jerks that is. Just ask my wife.

Unlike me, she is rarely, if ever an ingrate. She says that I am a very optimistic person, at (when  I am not being a jerk). Good thing she cannot read my thoughts. It is she who is truly optimistic. She most often sees the bright side of things where I may fail to do so.

Susan tends to feel grateful for many things that others may overlook, regardless of what the challenge may be. She says that one thing she is particularly grateful for is that she lives in Greenlee County. Among the reasons is that so many people here are friendly and still care about their neighbors (except maybe for jerks).

She notes there are many other reasons she loves Greenlee.

During a recent morning chat, I again asked her what she likes about living here. She responded with two words” “bake sales.”

Bake sales? What do bake sales have to do with anything? Susan quickly educated me.

She showed me a copy of a notice she picked up from a big city school notifying parents that kids could no longer bring homemade goodies for class parties or bake sales. Everything had to be sealed and come from a store or restaurant.

“Well, that’s a drag,” I exclaimed. Susan agreed. As a former school teacher, she said she had to wonder what in the devil the world was coming to.

Can you imagine not being able to bring to school homemade cupcakes, cookies, fudge or an enchilada casserole? That is downright sinful, especially since some of the best cooks anywhere are moms (and maybe some dads) who live in Greenlee County.

As I thought about it I realized Sue was making a comment on the condition of our society. What, we can no longer trust our neighbors? Well, at least not in the big city. In Greenlee County, we can still trust in folks.

Greenlee County Schools Superintendent Tom Powers makes a good point. Greenlee is made up of small communities. In our schools, everybody knows each other. Children and parents alike work together and play together.

That is not to say everybody gets along with each other, but we do know each other, Indeed we do, There is no fear of someone making or serving tainted burritos, cookies or punch. It just does not happen.

The big city has the lure of shopping malls, multiplex theaters and all sorts of activities not found out here in the hinterlands. But so what? The city also has ugly traffic snarls, crime and no homemade cupcakes in schools.

Susan laments that instead of examining and doing something about the many ills of cities, the powers-that-be choose to target bake sales.

The air quality in Greenlee is by far better than in Phoenix or Tucson. In Phoenix, one almost wishes for a nosebleed to keep from smelling exhaust fumes and whatever else may be in the poisoned air.

In Greenlee, our air is quite clean and that makes it much easier to enjoy the wonderful and pleasing aromas of freshly baked homemade cupcakes or cookies.

Although Greenlee is located in the remote high desert of Arizona and many, many miles away from Tucson or Phoenix, it can hardly be said we live in the Stone Age. Our county health department is very much in the 21st Century and requires certification classes for people who are handling food the public will consume – be it at festivals or other events. The classes are a very good idea. However, for most moms (and maybe a few dads) the sessions only reinforce what they have known and practiced all their lives: do not cough or sneeze into the desert and wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom. And do not let any hair fall into the spaghetti.

As we take to our tables on Thanksgiving Day 2018, we should be grateful – very grateful – that we live where we do. We should also say thank you to a lesson we can learn from the city dwellers: when homemade goods for bake sales are outlawed, then maybe only outlaws will have bake sales.

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