Aug 20, 2011

Scenic For Sale

A few weeks ago in the news media there was a story about a town in South Dakota that was for sale. That's right, the entire town... well, at least most of it. It created quite a stir among news organizations and even hit network TV news shows. The town is Scenic, South Dakota, with a population of 9. The asking price is now $799,000 which could be quite a deal if it included the 9 people. But I don't think the people are included.

We have in our acquaintance a couple of good souls who have been toying with the idea of buying a piece of property and starting their own country. They, like a lot of us, are getting close to giving up on the good ol' USA... feeling helpless, powerless, and represented by idiots. They long for rationality, reasonableness, and equal opportunity... things many of us feel slipping away. I know... there'd be a lot of hurdles to making this a reality and the idea has about as much chance as a snowball in South Texas. But it's certainly a good thought exercise and a lot of fun to ponder. We'd even discussed, in jest, whether this "town for sale" could fit into the plans.

Well, what'dya know... our drive between the Badlands and the Rapid City area on SD-44 took us right by Scenic. That's right... we could stop in and check out the town for our friends... and maybe get the inside track on a quick sale.

There are three exits off SD-44 for Scenic. I slowed as we neared the first and found a badly rutted gravel/dirt road. Proceeding to exit two... same thing. But exit three was the charm... a hard surfaced road. So in we went and found an acceptable parking spot right in front of the jail.

There's not much to Scenic but what's there has possibilities... Dar thinks real possibilities! The first place I ended up was in jail. (memories of my past?? or just bad dreams??)

All the essentials are there... a post office, a saloon, a diner, a hotel/hostel/bunkhouse, and a gas station/convenience store. I mean, what else would you really need in a small basic town?

Pondering this opportunity a little more, I wondered which way this ownership thing really goes? Does the person own the town... or does the town own the person? With many, if not most, ownership situations -- regardless of what it is that's being owned -- the thing really owns the person. With ownership comes responsibilities including upkeep, maintenance, repairs, taxes, liabilities, and storage... and probably more burdens I can't think of right now. I, for one, am sure I'm not ready for all this... especially on the scale of a whole town.

But alas, all the dreaming and thought games came crashing to an end today when I found that the town now has a buyer and the sale is supposed to close this next week. For now, at least, it appears Scenic is off the table.

Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

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