Mother Mary’s “LOCAL SOUP”
Serving up tasty local tidbits …
With a touch of salt and an occasional pinch of spice … as needed!
June 18, 2020 ... Day 90 of Social Distancing.
Sorry it's been so long. Since I last posted, I've written five new drafts and ripped them all up. I couldn't keep up with events.
Like many of my generation, I'd love to be out marching for America ... but I'm still playing it safe. So, I've watched the last few weeks from self-imposed social distance.
I’ve seen a grown man cry for his mother … and then die … under the knee of a uniformed police officer … hundreds of thousands march for justice … thugs, provocateurs, opportunists, riots, tear gas, and rubber bullets ... and my old neighborhood in Seattle declared an autonomous zone.
I see over 30 million Americans still on unemployment … small businesses still dropping like flies … almost 1,000 Americans still dying of Covid-19 every day … maybe ... because everybody believes everybody else is lying these days … and politics driving a wedge between us.
America needs vaccines for all the ills that plague us … and we need them fast!
Mother here has spent a lot of her life protesting … mostly peacefully … in hopes of making America better.
It's a great American tradition.
So, I can tell you personally that it is possible to support the police, hate rioting, abhor racism, protest against injustice … and love America all at the same time.
I'm sharing photos I took on my first Protest March in San Francisco on April 15, 1967. It's amazing how little has changed in half a century.
We knew we could not end the war in Viet Nam that day ... but we had to start the dialogue.
Today ... that war is history. But too many of the other wounds we hoped to heal are still festering.
Honestly, the biggest change I see is that ... this time I had to choose between Social Distancing and Social Justice ... and that hurts my heart.
If History is any teacher, we’ll have a vaccine for Covid-19 long before we make any real progress on a cure for racism and bigotry.
But we have to keep trying.
Once again ... due to Covid-19 ... the young must carry the banners.
God bless you all … you're going to need it if you're going to succeed where my generation failed.
Please know that we'd be out there with you if we could.
But We Really Do Need to Keep Our Distance.
The bad news is that ... if you believe any of the reports ... up to 1,000 Americans are still dying every day from Covid-19.
The good news ... for those who are comfortable calling it that ... is that 90% of them are over the age of 65.
What a sigh of relief for the young and healthy!
Apparently no longer afraid of catching the virus, they’re happily back at work and hitting the beaches and bars again … almost as if none of this ever happened.
Mother expected this and can't blame them, really. Gather ye rosebuds ... and all that.
Plus they make up most of the work force … and they are suffering the worst ... financially.
But too many for comfort ... especially the conspiracy theorists and political ideologues ... are refusing to take any precautions against spreading the virus.
And where does that leave the 20% of Floridians and 30% of Martin County residents over the age of 65 … who are at risk?
The only answer I’ve heard is “If you’re afraid … stay home.”
Mother might have hoped for a tad more empathy. But … we'll adapt.
Whining accomplishes nothing ... and it is … after all … the economy …
Re the Economy? Kiss Mom & Pop Good-Bye
"Mom & Pop" are also the most at risk economically.
The overarching economic tragedy of this virus-driven recession will be the death of small, local businesses.
You may be too young to remember the olden days … way back in the 20th Century … but back then you could earn your way into the middle class by working your way up in a large corporation.
In today’s low-wage global economy, you have to be an entrepreneur. As a result, almost half of America’s 30 million “small businesses” are "Mom & Pop" shops with fewer than 20 employees.
These small businesses make the local world go round. They give communities flavor and character. They should have been protected ... but they never had a chance.
Government did respond quickly to the shut-downs by enacting the Paycheck Protection Program … and for one brief shining moment it looked like PPP might keep the little guys afloat.
But … as usual … when the dust settled, the bulk of the money was in the pockets of multi-million-dollar companies.
As for the Mom & Pops who did get disaster relief … their nightmares were just beginning.
Extending the deadlines didn’t help much ... not if they’d already spent the money on employees they didn't need. And where will they find workers to reopen ... when many are making more on unemployment than they did on the job?
Even if they can find staff, will their customers … especially those over 65 … come back in time to save them?
Not if we're cowering in our closets at home because anti-maskers don't seem to care if we live or die.
And that ... of course ... is the irony of the Anti-Mask Movement. It is plunging a dagger into the heart of the local small-business economy.
The government economist on TV this weekend said that 20% of all small businesses are probably lost forever. Maybe more. Most of them will be Mom & Pops.
God bless you, Mom & Pop … we have no idea how much we're going to miss you.
Meanwhile ... Out at the Farms!
My son Rob’s little store, Palm City Farms Produce & Market, has been blessed so far ... but, once again, we are temporarily closed.
We hope to reopen next week and, in the mean time, we're working on a plan to let customers back in the store again ... hopefully by July.
But some of our best local Mom & Pop suppliers are really hurting. Hopefully we'll have their wares back on our shelves when we reopen. Cross your fingers they can get back up and running.
So ... when we get the doors open again ... please come back ... and buy their products. We all need you.
Of course, till this is over, I'll keep watch from my front porch swing ... blender by my side ... holding on to my shaker of salt for dear life.
Wish us all luck.
Mom & Pop need you more than ever!
When you’re out and about, hit the small local shops and restaurants rather than the big chains. Buy from a local store rather than online.
Wear a mask!
If everybody looks out for everybody else, those of us whose health is in jeopardy will be able to come out into the sun and shop, too!
And when you shop, tell them Mother sent you!
(Wash Your Hands. We're Gonna Need You When This is Over.)
Mother Mary's LOCAL SOUP is not a real soup. It's an idea.
Our Local Beer, however, really is BEER!
Palm City Farms Produce & Market is only minutes from Martin Downs, Pt. St. Lucie, Indiantown, and Okeechobee City at the corner of SW Citrus Blvd & SR-714.
3706 SW Citrus Blvd,
Palm City, FL, 34990.
From Mother with love..