A couple hundred years ago Charlotte was just a crossroads, a "trifling place" one famous politician once quipped.
Charlotte was long ago a pleasant expression of Southern Culture, a place with a sweet southern accent that blanketed the bible belt from the Mason Dixon Line to the gentle hills of Alabama.
Trade and Tryon Streets once seemed a million miles from Atlanta, far removed from the insanity of urban sprawl and continuously congested traffic moving along highways 12 lanes wide at speeds that often reached 90 miles an hour.
The closest larger city was Washington, the home of our Federal Government, growing up in Charlotte, we never had much use to go to either but would pick Atlanta over DC any day.
The national nightly news covered the endless slaughter of mankind, the nightly murders and drug raids that were always occurring within the city limits of our sister to the south and while more murder and a crack head mayor ruled our brother Washington to the far north.
Then growth came to Charlotte, and it was soon followed by the other three horsemen of the apocalypse, greed, corruption and arrogance and with them the need to destroy, make new, change, and implement new rules for everything that once made sense and promoted kindness and understanding.
Looking back I can honestly say new and improved is not necessarily better and I am certain that those who simply line their pockets with cash at the expense of taxpayers are the worst of mankind.
We now live in a "City" where suddenly power is everything, where the Chief of Police continues his "extreme makeover" of the police department, spending outrageous amounts of taxpayer's money to satisfy his own ego, demanding jobs for his daughter and future son in law, while we finish the school year by laying off hundreds of teachers and staff.
What seems epidemic at Charlotte's Police Department has now spread to DSS as cronyism and corruption, shady accounting and hiring become the rule and norm, versus a news worthy exception.
I remember a place where the local department store and the mayor shared the same name. Where your name and reputation was everything because you have always lived here and always will.
Now our city is over run with carpetbaggers selling magic elixirs and remedies to fix our crime troubles, right our backwardness and spend our hard earned tax dollars.
Before long they will have all moved on, leaving our municipal coffers empty and our government offices and police department a shambles.
The quite tree covered streets of Eastover and Myers Park whisper that summer has arrived, before long the cicadas will sing and I'll long for the lazy days of shade covered verandas and tall glasses of sweet tea, in a place where the troubles of big city life belong to others far from the cross roads of Trade and Tryon.
A place were visitors are polite enough to know when they have worn out their welcome, and depart before sunset then take the highway north to a land where corruption and cronyism are accepted as a way of doing business.
We'll stand in the driveway, the heat of the day radiating skyward, and thank them for their advice and wish them a safe trip back home.
And it will be good to see them go, bless their little hearts.