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StarThere are about 8,000 people in McCulloch County, 5,500 of whom live in Brady. Many of them have known each other from childhood. The remainder moved here for one reason or another and are unaware of who was a bully in eighth grade, who made good grades, and who dated who back in high school. That creates a divide between the "old-timers" and "newcomers".

Old-timers tend to associate with, do business with and vote for their friends and relatives because they know and like them. Newcomers tend to associate with, do business with and vote for those who seem friendly, honest and competent now, blissfully ignorant of all the old ties that bind a community.

Newcomers will never become old-timers, no matter how long they live here. Old-timers will never understand what it is like to leave "home" and live forever among strangers.

This divide is not unique to McCulloch County. It exists in every community on earth because people must go to where there is opportunity, even if it means leaving "home". It drives all migration from city to city and country to country. No one ever wants to leave "home". They do it because they must in order to survive and prosper. The migrants (newcomers) are never wholly welcome by old-timers. They must earn a place in their new community. It will not be given to them.

Old-timers are dismayed that their children leave to find opportunity in other places. They may come back to visit but they don't come back to live because they can't support their families here.

Then they are dismayed again when the people moving to McCulloch county were successful somewhere else and moved here to find security, peace and quiet - not opportunity. Plus, the newcomers can be arrogant because they were successful wherever they came from and often try to teach the old-timers "a thing or two".

All that creates conflict and resentment. Old-timers say, "If you don't like it here, go back where you came from", while newcomers say, "Nothing ever gets done right around here".

A little common sense and good-will will resolve the conflict and make McCulloch county a better place to live for both old-timers and newcomers.

First, newcomers should recognize that the old-timers created the security, peace and quiet that attracted them here in the first place. Show some respect and don't be too quick to try to change it.

Next, old-timers should recognize the newcomers do know a thing or two about being successful in a fast-paced world and about judging people on their merits instead of their family history. Show some respect and realize that changes may create opportunity.

Sense and Nonsense Is dedicated to providing the information, ideas and interaction necessary to build a community of people who can be trusted and who trust each other.