So I'm a little annoyed. I probably shouldn't be, but I am. I was just on Facebook checking updates, reading some posts, you know, Facebook stuff, when I noticed a facebook friend had joined a group called 'I got the f#*% out of Hagerstown and I am not coming back!!!!'. Now I know this group was made all in good fun, and I am far from offended by it, but, then again, I'm kind of annoyed! For years Hagerstown has been stereotyped for being a dead end town full of yokels. Crazy, slow, inbred, redneck hicks. Even first time visitors pick up that 'something isn't right about this town'. Even I admit to poking fun at her at times. Recently, though, I have come to realize the jewel Hagerstown really is, and the huge opportunities that are here.
Hagerstown's problems are not the poor that fill her downtown area. Her problem is the attitude of the people. I have lived in this area all of my life, not in Hagerstown, but around her. I have picked up on four major attitude issues, which somehow reside all at once in most people. They are quitters, the locals think they are better then the locals, they have a feeling of inferiority when compared to other larger towns, and there is this sense of poverty. What I mean by poverty is that they are not poor, but they feel they are poor, helpless, and that everything is everyone elses' fault and problem to fix.
This Facebook group, which was created is a perfect example of the attitude of the people that live here. The ironic thing is they may have left Hagerstown, but Hagerstown has not left them. Unless they change they will always have those attitudes which have been fed into them. What the people in this group have really said is, 'I can't possibly make it in this town, there is no hope for her. I quit, I'm going to leave these people, this town, and go to a better town where I feel I can make it.' Do you see the attitudes?
I for one (and there are many, many others) am not about to quit. One of my goals for my photography business is to show that great art, great photography, great quality can come from this area. I am not alone in this unspoken movement. There are people with way more resources then I, which have been majorly investing in Hagerstown for the past decade, and they are producing high-end quality. Businesses like DemCore and DM Bowman are literally transforming the downtown area. RidgeRunner Publishing, who I am starting to freelance for, is producing high quality magazines, giving pride and attention to the local area. I want to be part of that change in the city, and my hometown area. Opportunities abound here. We are only an hour from the most powerful city in the world, five hours from New York, four hours from Philadelphia, an hour from Harrisburg. We have two major highways that intersect one going east-west one going north-south. Over the past few years people have been moving here from D.C to escape insane housing prices. These are people that commute to D.C. everyday and generally make higher salaries.
So, to end my rant, I just might make a Facebook group called, 'I live in Hagerstown, I'm not running, and I'm going to make a difference.'