Last May it was decided that the new town sewage lagoon was going in the middle of Greg’s farm land. Small towns are strange like that. What’s good for most is best for all. In a town that has more barren buildings and broken windows than it does businesses it’s an unwritten agreement that citizens are to be compliant to the fancy of those on the town council. Now even though there were a dozen other spots that would be suitable for this monstrosity the politicians of the town did not want it too close to their homes and children. Therefore Greg inherited this pleasure.
The news was broke soon after the town holiday so as not to offend those visiting the town by having machinery placed smack dab in the center of the pristine flat cornfields with all of their new furrows. Farm equipment wasn’t given a second thought, after all most of the floats in the parade were either pulled by a tractor or a combine just passing through throwing candy. In fact, Greg had been driving the tractor that pulled the local booster club and school board members on it. These were some of the same people who would later tell him that it was okay for him to give up his land because it was for the greater good. It can be speculated that all two hundred and fifty members of the community were out to the park for a portion of the weekend. People have fun, or have a lousy time and still paste a sappy smile on their faces and talk about the weather and corn prices.
Greg had always been an amiable man. He participated in the town events and his family had spent years building the respect of the towns’ people. However, on the day that the location was announced Greg suddenly felt a little bit less than welcome in the place he’d called home all his life. When Greg went to the council meeting to contest the placement as outlandish and ugly he was informed that regardless of his feelings the project was moving forward by force of eminent domain.
When Greg set out looking for support from his friends in the community he realized that those people had become scarce or too busy to stand up with him. The new lagoon had been deemed necessary for town convince. After 150 years people were finally tired of having their own waste in a holding tank in the back yard. It seemed to make no difference that the location that was chosen was two hundred feet away from highway 20, the only real source of outsiders coming through town. There was no reason that the towns people would care until everything was built. That’s the way in small town Iowa, the few that have vision of problems down the road are silenced by those who want what they want now and are only willing to give up other peoples’ belongings.