While I will always love my hometown of Mount Vernon, there are reasons I don't live there anymore. And while I could rant for days about numerous topics, I only going to blog about one. Apathy.
For a town that cries about not having anything to do, Vernites sure don't do anything about it. Recently, the Jaycee's cancelled their House of Horrors, a forty plus year tradtion. It was cancelled because no one wanted to help. I imagine it was a lot of work getting it put together and people have too many other things to do like play Farmville or Mafia Wars on Facebook. It takes a team of people to get things like a haunted house done and made enjoyable. However, the people of Mount Vernon, when ask for help, just shut their doors. People are too busy watching Jersey Shore or Real Housewives to do anything productive. In my last blog, I questioned what kids would remember from their childhoods, now I wondering what young adults will remember 20 years from now "Hey remember that time when Pauly D...." rather than "Hey remember when we ran the haunted house and....." Stop living vicariously through TV characters. Go out and make memories of your own.
This coming Halloween will be the 10th year for Trunk-or Treat in Mount Vernon. Guess who started it. ME! (with the help of Gretchen) I got the idea from a church in another town and brought it ours. I was Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus at the time. (Back in the 10 years that I was Catholic) I brought the idea before the council and received blank stares. I ask about starting a committee. I was told we didn't need one. I was also told that it wouldn't work. Did anyone volunteer to help? Nope. So Gretchen and I did it. I worked my ass off and made it successful. The next year when the Methodist Church made the front page of the paper with their Trunk-or-Treat, I thought "Hey, what about me?" Oh well, I'll just toot my own horn. Now, at last count their were 6 different trunk-or-treats in Mount Vernon. My gift to you.
The problem is that no one in that town wants to help do anything. What the "Leaders " of Mount Vernon should do is go to Highland Il on August 27 and 28 and witness Kichenfest. This is how a community should support itself. Games, food, drink,and music. Oh wait. it's put on by the Catholic Church, so you anti-Catholics living in Mount Vernon (and you know who you are) might not want to go. But I was blown away by how good this event was. I while I was there, I realized why it was so good. It was because everyone helped. Everyone took their turn(young and old): cooking, running games, picking up trash, etc...
Let's compare that to events in Mount Vernon. umm lets see ummmm oh. Cedarhurst Craft Fair. You go and look at items others have made. Okay that's part all right. Civic originations have food stands, reasonably priced. That part is okay, But parking has gotten way out of hand. Everybody trying to gouge their fellow neighbor. I remember when the only the high school's Youth and Government raised money by helping park cars. Then the whole town got greedy. This is our success story? Cedarhurst?
Let's look at our failures. Sweet Corn and Watermelon festival. Neither had anything to do with our town that I'm aware of. It's now gone. County Fair at the Fairgrounds. Gone. Santa's Cottage. Gone. BBQ and Music festival should have been successful. It wasn't. All of these could have been successful. It only takes a two things: Volunteers and Community Support. That's all. And Mount Vernon will give neither. But we can sure bitch about having nothing to do. We should have a Apathy Parade. No one shows up for it and no one cares that no one shows up. Wait, that's everyday in Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon's civic originations are dying or already dead. The death list includes, The Optimist Club, The Lions Club (I think), and now maybe the Jaycee's. Part of the problem is apathy the other is the current members. When I joined the Kof C, I had all sorts of ideas. One by one were shot down and eventually I just quit. Too many people saying we can't do that, that will be too much work or they just wanted to go with their buddy's idea.
The Jaycee's had a bad reputation when I was younger but, I understand that things have really changed since then. If I still lived there, I would join. But alas, I escaped that black hole 14 months ago and shan't return.
Now, if you are interested in making a difference and getting involved. The Jaycee's really need your help. Contact Dan Voyles on Facebook or at email@example.com or visit the Mount Vernon Jaycee page on Facebook.
Come on Mount Vernon! Get off your lazy asses and do something.