was deemed the most useless space
I was struck by this passage:
The lords of the beachfront were late to the coastal real estate game. The beach was initially deemed the most useless, undesirable space on the North American continent. (Imagine rushing past the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard in your haste to stake a land claim in Ohio.)
Back in the day I had a job interview with the Federal Government.
On the application there was a spot where I could list places where I could not work.
I listed California, Florida and Ohio.
The interviewer asked a lot of questions then said, “Where you can’t work. I certainly understand Florida and California, but what do you have against Ohio?”
Naming my Alma Mater answered his question.
I like the beach.
I can’t remember a time I did not like the beach.
I love the line in the movie Superman II, where Gene Hackman, as only Gene Hackman can, informed General Zod that, “Well, General … the world is a big place. Thank goodness my needs are small. I have a certain weakness for … beachfront property.“
I guess the idea that Ohio was populated by folks who rushed past the coast to get to Ohio pretty much says as much about Ohio as anyone needs to know.
If anyone needs anything more to know about Ohio, just consider the pantheon of personalities you meet when you name the 6 Ohio Presidents.
Now there’s a Mount Rushmore no one ever proposed.
Three died in office and of those, two were shot dead and the other was poisoned by his wife (well that’s what I was told).
Talk about some sort of intervention.
But I digress.
I like the beach.
I like what Mr. Thoreau said when he said about the beach that, “A man may stand there and put all America behind him.”
I hope I would have stopped at the beach.
But right now, I like where I ended up.
Again as Mr. Thoreau says, The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
The passage comes from the opinion piece, We Will All End Up Paying for Someone Else’s Beach House, by Francis Wilkinson (@fdwilkinson), a columnist at Bloomberg, in the New York Times on August 8, 2022.
He closes with this warning.
The wealthy eventually realized their error. They put property markers on perpetually shifting sand, built expensive homes and called in the Army to keep their beaches from drifting away. It’s hard to see how, exactly, they will hold on to much of this sea-level paradise in the face of rising waters and carbon-charged superstorms. But it’s not hard to guess who will end up covering their losses.
The wise man built his house upon the rock but he didn’t have the view and he still, most likely, didn’t have a basement.