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Gulf Of Mexico Musings

For the second year I spent our local school’s Spring Break at the Gulf Of Mexico, last year in Mississippi with the wife and this year working, taking an Amish family on vacation near Pensacola, Florida last week. They rented a place on Perdido Bay, directly across from Alabama…

It was a really nice place but didn’t have much of a beach area even though it was on the water so I took them down to Perdido Key right on the ocean most days. I had my own room upstairs facing the bay so this was the view from my room…

It is weird being away from home under any circumstances but spending the week with a different family entirely, even one I know quite well, makes it even weirder but we had fun and the weather was great. I quipped to the Good Doctor that I don’t know how people survive in the south, the heat was almost too much and we were only there a week. They don’t even have screens in the windows, I guess they go from having the heat on to having the A/C running.

Where we stayed is kind of an odd place, like a lot of resort areas. The neighborhood around our place was pretty nice, lots of older people and various vacation home owners. But when we crossed into Pensacola proper, it went downhill in a hurry. The area seemed to have a gas station, crappy looking Baptist church and Dollar General every mile. The local news in Pensacola had the usual smattering of stories of shootings and various crime, completely at odds with the nice waterfront homes. Compounding the weirdness, we were very close to Naval Air Station Pensacola, home of the Navy’s Blue Angels (formally the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron) so one day while we were driving to the beach they were out practicing and flying right over us. That was awfully cool.

Lots of wildlife, I saw bald eagles a few times from our place…

…and one day a pod of dolphins swam right past the dock. Did a dolphin cruise and visited an alligator farm in Alabama.

It never fails to remind me of how resort areas, whether in Northern Michigan where we used to live or on the Gulf Of Mexico have such a strange mix of upper class “haves” and lower class “have nots” with a very small middle class. I think that is where we are headed as a country as the middle and working classes get squeezed downward by inflation and outsourcing, leaving the preferred mandarin class to serve the elites while the rest of us have to scrape by on what we can. Life will be great for the vacation home-types in government, corporate service and other favored economic branches but everyone else is heading for a Great Reset “Own nothing and be happy” future of renting everything, living at subsistence levels and finding what solace we can in online “virtual reality” (think Ready Player One).

The days of regular working and middle class people owning a vacation place are fading away. Now we are left with short term vacation rentals and the people that own those vacation homes renting them out via Airbnb. The brave new world we are heading toward simply doesn’t have room for most of us.


  1. Locust Post

    This tracks with my observation.

    Where is all those trillions of shovel ready infrastructure dollars that seems to be passed like a broken record each congress?

    For fun (not work) I spent time in February driving around SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, TN and then in March I went to KY, OH, IN, MI, WV, VA. A total of a little more than 5000 miles of car driving. Nearly every town, with the exception of suburban places around Nashville or Charlotte has a disappearing middle class–and poorly maintained roads, decaying houses, bad crime, junky gas stations and dollar stores. You can look at the architecture and see that all these places had a substantial middle class in the past. The farmland in Ohio and Indiana looks good–expansive well maintained fields with good barns and equipment. At least something still seems to be working. Gary, IN was unbelievable. I had to put my vehicle in 4-wheel drive to make it down a city street as I was touring the grand, early 20th century (now seriously decayed) houses of the Old West End of Toledo. It was eye opening to think this country is throwing so much money at foreign wars while most of the country is a mess.

    • Jeffrey Zoar

      In the last few years I’ve gotten in the habit of staying off the interstate when I take road trips. Takes longer, but I’ve got the time, and this way I get to see the country. Things tend to look the same from the interstate but look very different once you get off it.

      And especially in the south, the best word to describe a lot of the little towns I drive through is ruin. Or decay, on the way to ruin. Clearly there was something there before, some reason for the town to exist, but that reason is gone, and the town is slowly going with it. See this over and over, from North Carolina to New Mexico. It’s not 100%, there are some towns that are doing ok, but many more I can’t help but wonder what’s keeping the folks there who are still there.

      But I’ll say I was impressed with Sido’s neck of the woods in north central IN, amish country. Some downright lovely looking little towns. I’m sure I could live there and be happy if there was no such thing as winter. Perhaps they are decaying too, relative to what they used to be, but relative to what I see farther south they are pristine.

      • Locust Post

        Most of the south, as someone who lives in it, is a mess. A few areas are doing okay. But most of it is a landscape of few big landowners and everyone else existing along the roadsides in trailer and decaying house shacks waiting for disability, welfare or other government checks. The roads in the south are fairly well maintained–they don’t have much heavy traffic because there isn’t much commerce. The roads in urban areas in the Great Lakes rustbelt are awful. Where is all that infrastructure spending going to? Electric charging stations? Weed growing? Or diverted to DC and foreign war making? There is no way it is going to areas that used to have vibrant middle class manufacturing jobs.

  2. Nick Nolte's Mugshot

    A little getaway cabin on a lake or in the woods was once easily within the reach of the middle class. It still is except middle class in America is now realistically defined as a household income of $200 K and up . The other day I nearly choked on my lunch when a coworker said that he said that he and his wife were thinking about buying a 2023 GMC Yukon for $90K. In 1999 I bought a 10 year old brick house on a half acre in Tennessee for $90k.

  3. saoirse

    “The days of regular working and middle class people owning a vacation place are fading away.”
    Good! Time to jettison “the good life” and face the fact that such bread and circuses illusions were rotting away the soul of the white race!

    “The brave new world we are heading toward simply doesn’t have room for most of us.”
    Why would any conscious white want a seat at a table occupied by sub-human excrement!

    Being as far away from the dystopia, both mentally and physically is our only hope for survival! They can’t pull the carpet out from under you if you’re not standing on it.

  4. Moe Gibbs

    Wife and I are right now in the very belly of the beast – Austin, Texas – having driven up late last week to kick around for Easter weekend in what was, back in another lifetime, one of our favorite destinations. But times have certainly changed. Austin always was eclectic and weird, but the very first other folks we saw checking in at the hotel on Thursday were a trio of unusually tall, overly made-up…transgenders. I heard them before I saw them, and what I heard was a gaggle of up-speaking college bros. Or so I thought, until my wife jabbed me in the ribs with her elbow and I turned to see Tim Curry in a mini-skirt with two of his henchwomen. It took everything I had to keep from laughing out loud.

    The restaurants are still good, the music equally so. But I am just getting too old for tolerating the gender-bender shite. If war is coming, let’s just light the fuse and get it over with.

  5. Don Curton

    Maybe a slightly different observation. There’s areas with a healthy middle class and there’s areas where you’d like to go vacation. The Venn diagram has very little overlap. There are several places in Texas that are stunning and I’d love to live there, but there is no industry there where I’d be able to work my chosen profession. In fact very little industry outside of tourism and rich retirees. So you end up with the dichotomy you observed, the very rich, a meager middle class scratching out a living, and a vast poor class relegated to waiting tables or cleaning pools or other minimum wage jobs.

    On the other hand, the little suburb I live in, outside of Houston, is growing rapidly. They are throwing up subdivisions and apartment complexes left and right over the past decade. At not for the poor either. My drive to work is dotted with signs along the roadside advertising “New Homes – $300k” by such and such builder next to a freshly cleared field. Note that in this suburb we are 30 minutes to 1 hour commute from dozens of chemical plants as well as many other industries, not exactly a vacation destination. A $300k home here is generally 2500 sq ft, 2 story, 2 car garage, with a decent sized lot.

    I don’t doubt that many a small town is withering away, my mom lives just outside one that’s by hanging by a thread for decades. But what you see from the road isn’t always indicative of the true health of the town.

    • Jeffrey Zoar

      Southern cities (not necessarily the inner parts) generally look pretty healthy to me. Financially healthy, I mean. It’s the small towns that are fading. You get exceptions both ways, but that’s the overall trend. Of course most every city has the good side of town and the bad side. Or nice suburbs vs. decayed inner. But that’s not exactly news. In the cities, the good side and the bad side are generally marked by race. The decline in the small towns is colorblind.

    • Arthur Sido

      We wouldn’t be able to afford the place we are in now, purchased 12 years ago, if we had to buy new today. We could sell it for double or more what we paid for it but where would we go?

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