Who buys bean coffee?
Eight percent. A stinking eight percent of Americans buy whole bean coffee! No wonder we have been having a hard time finding great coffee along the way. I thought sure there were more of us than that. You may remember that I was carping about that a few weeks ago. Since then we have (if not solved our dilemma we have at least) minimized our dilemma! H-E-B comes to the rescue once again. WE love that store. Not all of the local stores carry a selection of whole bean coffee but at least one in the area does and we are now shopping there most of the time.
Segregation — how bad is it anyway?
I don’t want to get into any arguments and we lived most of our life in Milwaukee, a city that gets horrible press because of how segregated it’s supposed to be but where I found myself rubbing elbows with blacks and hispanics and Hmong and Asians all the time and I never quite got what all the commotion was about because we have been in the last three years to places far more segregated than Milwaukee ever was! But I’m not really talking about racial segregationi.
A recent article in the Washington Post walked up to me and slapped me upside the head. In this country we seem obsessed by the issues of racial segregation, racial equal rights, and women’s rights. But we ignore all sorts of other segregation and it took a “Rag” like the Washington Post to talk about it before something sunk in. The wealthy are walling themselves off in cities increasingly segregated by class.
Yes — it seems that rich people are segregating themselves by their dollars — tending to live in areas where other people of similar income also live.
Ok — that sounds…
Well… that sounds…
Not all that surprising at all.
I want to quote the article about the hidden ‘surprise’ because that’s the way it’s presented in the article and I’m amazed that this ‘new information’ isn’t and hasn’t been common knowledge:
“By income, the wealthy (households making
more than $200,000 a year) are more segregated
than the poor (families living under the federal
poverty line). By education, people with
college degrees are more segregated than
people with less than a high school diploma.
By occupation, the group that Florida has
coined the “creative class” is more segregated
than the working class.”
When my grandparents moved to the U.S. from Poland they settled in neighborhoods with other Poles. Duh…. It was the way of the time — for Poles, Czechs, Jews, Irish, Brits, Scandinavians, etc. It is still the way of the times for the Hmong, the Vietnamese, the Mexicans. Why is it so hard for people to understand that people like to be around people like themselves?
We have been struggling for generations to get people to un-segregate but on so many levels when people are given the opportunity to choose between living and working with people like themselves that’s exactly what they choose to do. Whether their criteria are ethnicity, or education, creativity, or money, Heck people of a sports persuasion will live near golf courses, or ball fields — we just like to be with people who are like us.
I agree 100% that inequality is wrong. I agree 100% that preferential treatment is wrong, but I mean, C’mon folkies…some parts of human behavior you aren’t going to change no matter how hard you try.
What has all this to do with RV’ing?
I talk about how much Peg and I enjoy being in/around diverse groups. That is true. We have to admit, however, that RV’ing is far more a middle-class Anglo thing than we originally would have guessed. Remember that even though we had gone camping years ago we bought our first RV after not having been camping in …. Oh, Lordy…. probably 20 years or so.
Initially, I was a bit surprised that within campgrounds there was relatively little diversity. The vast majority of campers / RV’ers were white. Not all, but the majority. I have never witnessed racial bigotry IN a campground…. People are cool. Most campers treat other like they would want to be treated and go on about their business. But Peg and I are no different from other citizens — we admit to liking to be around people like us and if we come into a campground without a reservation we’ll look for a site next to other campers with a neat site, who aren’t blasting their stereo, and where there aren’t dogs barking. That’s about all we need to enjoy our stay. A reasonable amount of quiet and a site that isn’t going to attract critter visitors overnight to scavenge human food.
RV’ing is not primarily about money. Yeah — you do have to have enough Pounds, Lire, or Sheckels to BUY an RV. But at the same time that I know RV’ers who’s rig is valued well in excess of 1/4 million dollars, I also know others who’s RV cost only a few hundred dollars. In state and federal campgrounds we might find ourselves rubbing shoulders with campers who’s entire investment in camping might be their tent and sleeping bag.
While it may be true that Americans are segregating themselves by a variety of factors, RV’ing is about so much more than living an exclusionary life. I have been interested, amazed even, at the broad range of interests among RV’ers, including our Winter Texan neighbors here. Palmdale is a good example of diversity. We have quilters here. We have barbecuers here. We have fishermen here. We have crafters here — of all sorts. We have musicians here — they jam every Monday. If you’re good at what you’re interested in everyone wants to know you. If you’re bad at what you’re interested in it always seems there’s someone willing to show you how. This is not just true of Palmdale — pretty much every campground we have been in has been the same. If someone has a problem with their RV it’s not long before a committee assembles to see if they can’t help cure the problem. One thing about RV’ing is that we all go through similar problem — for us, lately, it’s been our Norcold, but we have everyday problems with the same kind of things that exist in houses, and we all learn (somewhat) the hard way — sharing those hard won lessons with others so that (just perhaps) they won’t have to find out the hard way too is a great joy for many of us.
Part of the process of finding a homey feeling RV park for the winter is about finding a place with a level of activity that suits you. I’ve been talking about that this winter, partly because we aren’t big ‘joiners’ and the right level of activity was finding a place where we didn’t need to engage in activity. There’s also the question of finding the right activities. And the question of whether you want to be around a lot of people all the time (big parks or small lots) or whether you need your space (small parks or large lots).
I don’t make any attempt do vouch for all RV’ers — we only know a few of them — but most of the RV’ers we have met aren’t particularly trying to hang out only with people as well to do as they are. Oh, we have met RV’ers who vet the parks they visit for security. And some who only stay at parks with pools, or where they can play poker, or play pool. We know a few RV’ers who love to do escorted caravans — traveling in the company of a herd of other RV’s to a few or a lot of destinations. We’ve priced them out; those caravans can be a bit spendy — depending on your travel budget. But we haven’t met any RV’ers who do that a lot! I guess that would be like factoring in a 2 week vacation in the days when you were still employed — Spend a couple/few thousand on a splurge trip — and then go back to living your normal life. We haven’t felt the need to do that because we pretty much live every day the way we want to so we don’t feel the ‘need’ to splurge. But some folks do. Bill and Linda here at the park are not even full timers, they come down for about 4 months each year and they just left for a 2 week ‘vacation’ to some little island in Mexico. Good for them. I’m happy for them. But I don’t have any desire to do the same. Even with the abnormal winter I’m still content to be here and not go anywhere else.
There ARE RV parks where your RV has to meet specific standards — most commonly years since manufacture — 10 years or newer. I have yet to want to go to a place that requires me to own a coach of any specific age. There have always been more than enough other choices that I was more interested in going to than that. Besides, I guess I’m maverick enough to object to being ‘qualified’ to live someplace.
I really don’t care what other RV’ers do, or how they set their priorities. I sometimes think that the RV community is as diverse as any other part of society and perhaps moreso because we all are willing to live outside the boxes society tries to put us in. But just as there are trends in society there are sure to be trends in RV’ing. The most obvious is that RV’s are getting bigger. Just like cars, manufacturers have found that people want/like/demand finer finishes and all the latest geegaws. That’s the reason we bought a used coach rather than a new one; twice. That and the fact that I’m still a luddite; all those gadgets and geegaws, while traveling down the road get shook and vibrated to bits and they are just something else to break, and another reason to see the RV repair man. I don’t need that.
I’m sure there will be a few trends that we like and many that we don’t — that is the way of getting older (it seems). The world changes around us and we accept some change and avoid a lot more. But I’m sure there will always be RV’ers who want nothing more than to hit the road, make a few friends, see a new bird, visit a different museum, share a cuppa with a new neighbor, and go on their way. That’s kind of how I feel. And knowing that they don’t live next to me forever, and I don’t live next to them forever either I can get into that regardless what they look like, where they worked, how many degrees they may have, etc.. The Washington Post doesn’t have to tell me what’s going on. I’m sure they are right about what they say; I’m just not sure it means all that much to me and the life I intend living as long as I have a choice.
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.