It took nearly 4½ years, but I got a wish granted this week.
I wrote a column that was published Sept. 13, 2016, in a Florida newspaper in which I complained about the “beautification” of the gateway roundabout with the planting of myrtles along the shoulder of the south end of Sea Island road.
As I was driving back onto the island one morning last week, I saw a sign warning of roadwork ahead and just beyond it were Glynn County Public Works workers whacking and sawing away at the offensive myrtles.
We can thank County Commissioner Cap Fendig, who explained on his Facebook page that the beautifying myrtles had become a safety hazard.
“This blind spot created by the hedge row is responsible for many bad rear-end collisions,’’ he said.
Indeed it was. Drivers hurrying to work on the north end of the island had more than once driven into the rear bumpers of cars they saw too late. Also, sometimes drivers took hard lefts to avoid hitting stopped cars which put them into the myrtles or sometimes into the pocket marsh. Not that I’m complaining about cars flattening myrtles.
When I inquired about the reason for the plantings in 2016, Kathryn Downs, who was the county spokeswoman at the time, explained, “They were planted as part of a beautification project.”
It was expensive, but part of the funding came from a grant, I think, and it’s hard to find a government that will turn down grant money. It’s why all but one school in Glynn County is Title I, I guess.
Some of the myrtles were already dying, but the contractor, who I’m sure was paid handsomely, was to replace those. I said then I hoped they all died, and I got most of my wish.
The myrtles blocked the view of the marsh where you could see egrets wading and red winged blackbirds perched on marsh grass, all laid out as God intended.
Now, we have a couple of views restored. We can see the marsh and the cars in front of us.
By the way, the county said it had to get permission from the Department of Natural Resources to cut the bushes. I don’t remember anyone saying they had to get permission to plant them. Somebody should have said, “No.”
And here’s another good thing happening, but I have mixed feelings.
Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss, says that skinny jeans are on the way out, that consumers are buying more loose-fitting styles.
I recently told someone about how we sometimes look at old pictures and laaauughh.
“This one of me in my leisure suit. Oh, look. Here’s one in a denim suit I bought to wear on Easter Sunday in 1978.”
The pants were flared, the lapels were as wide as a used car salesman’s smile and my tie was the size of an ironing board.
I predicted we’d laugh our hind ends off at the way people looked in skinny jeans and pants, especially those of adult men wearing those things with banded legs. I think those were originally designed for toddlers perhaps to catch anything that escaped a diaper, but maybe not.
Bergh said the skinny jeans trend lasted for 10 years. Heck. You can get a 4-year college degree in 10 years.
A fashion writer for Forbes also noted that skinny jeans were on the way out, and she noted the trend toward boot cut, patchwork and the baggy fits from the 1990s. Who knew that my patched britches from my childhood would be trendy someday, but at the time it was the result of being poor.
And I used to wear boot cut jeans, but I also wore boots. As for loose fitting, I don’t wear those because all jeans look loose on my skinny legs and, like many men may age, I have no discernible buttocks.
I’m glad to see skinny jeans go because some people wore them who shouldn’t have but didn’t realize it. It’s not their fault, though, because some store clerk lied, “You look good in those.” (Coming soon to an op ed page near you, a letter to the editor about my vicious body-shaming.)
Anyway, hang loose with your next jeans, but don’t get too comfortable in them.
Like denim, fashion trends tend to fade.
When the time comes, I’ll be looking for Wrangler’s regular fit in my size, a personal trend that has lasted about 50 years.
Spring is clearly here, and the weather will be good until the unbearable heat gets here, but I don’t particularly enjoy the falling of live oak leaves. When they fall, abrasive gas-powered leaf blowers go into overtime although they disturb the peace year round. You wonder, however, how all those leaves end up in storm drains, but I digress.
If Pyotr Ilyich Tchaichovsky were alive and to write a symphony called “Printemps on St. Simons” he would probably put leaf blowers in it the way he put cannon and musket fire into the “1812 Overture.”
I hate the sound although it is better than a state of the union address, the sound of a bunch of New York Yankees fans celebrating a World Series win, a drunk groomsman at a wedding reception or the braying of a donkey.
I’ll stick with an electric blower. But believe it or not, there once was this thing called a rake…
Anyway, enjoy spring while it’s here, and enjoy the restored view of the marsh.