Paul  Kengor

From a faculty colleague: “My grandfather had this hunting cabin…. Twenty guys would stay there. My uncle shot a deer once, brought it back to the camp, got drunk, and passed out. The group left for home the next morning without him. But he had this motorcycle he kept up there—with a sidecar, which was WWII surplus. He was also town sheriff. So he stuffed the deer in the sidecar, head straight up, and drove all the way home. Simple people who had each other and their time together. Makes me happy and sad.”

From Rick from Mount Joy: “Your article really took me back. My grandfather, father, and uncles built a cabin down the road from Emporium in Sinnemahoning in 1947. This is the first year that the cabin stands empty during Deer Season. Time passes but my memories of that area will never fade.”

From an editor in Washington state: “[Your] column really puts into perspective the changes we’ve experienced, from being a country of neighbors we could count on and trust, to the society we live in today where many people don’t even know who their neighbor is across the alley, let alone trust them with anything of value.”

From a “tired” mom: “Okay, Paul, so here’s a sad story: After Hurricane Katrina, my husband went down to the Reliant Center in Houston to help out with all the folks being sheltered there after the levees gave way in New Orleans. I told him, ‘If anybody wants out of there, bring them home with you.’ We live in Ohio. He could not find one person—out of hundreds—who wanted to leave the chaos of the Reliant Center, not even for a few days. (We had the means to fly them to Ohio and then, after that, we’d have flown them anywhere they wanted to go.) And why did nobody want to leave? Because rumors were that the government was going to reissue welfare checks that had been lost in the flood, in addition to providing FEMA handouts. They were willing to stay in a hell-hole in order to get a few bucks from the government, rather than trust in a kind stranger extending a hand. It is a sad world in which we live.”

There’s not much I can add to this.

Yep, America has really changed—sadly, for the worse. This nation and its people and culture will never be the same, and that’s too bad.