Tuesday, October 16, 2007

When Critics Attack: More Thoughts on Why I Keep This Web Site

I have to admit I was really offended by the anonymous post asking why I was so interested in Dycusburg since leaving there. That was a pretty direct and mean (and unnecessary) attack, considering all of the interest I have helped raise in the town. With the Internet, phone and e-mail, you can obviously do things even when you live across the country to help benefit a town.

Although this may come across narcissistic to some, hear me out. In no time in Dycusburg's history were people so excited about its story until the book was published on the town in 1999. I have helped with grant money, have donated money to causes in the town like cemetery upkeep, and even had a monument placed at Marion in honor of Dycusburg's son, Forrest Carlisle Pogue, Jr.

I have spent untold hours scanning old photos for people to enjoy. I have written countless articles printed in various media about Dycusburg in hopes of helping rid its ill-repute, including a recent story in Kentucky Monthly magazine.

I have maintained this Web site for more than 5 years and have never asked anyone for a single cent for its upkeep (and no, these things aren't free nor cheap!). Obviously, even my No. 1 critic (who posted anonymously) took the time to come here and see what was happening in Dycusburg.

All of that said, I have done more work in my 20s than most people will ever do in their entire lifetimes to raise up the town of Dycusburg. When someone else does the same, then we can talk ...

So, yes, now I'm 1,000 miles away from home, and I travel all over the country for work: Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, New Hampshire, Maine, San Antonio, Washington, DC ... I think you get the picture. Through work and other personal travel, I've seen nearly every state, and having seen the country from shore to shore, I have learned to appreciate where my ancestors settled, and see its appeal. This is the land where my great-great-great grandfather raised his family, and several generations followed. If you've ever gone to college and realized that career opportunities aren't too glamorous in a place like Dycusburg, then surely you'd understand. If you haven't, then don't be so quick to judge or assume.

In the post, the person said I hated the town. I'm sorry, but I definitely don't recall "hating" Dycusburg. Perhaps its better to surmise that I hated the opportunities that weren't (and still wouldn't be) afforded to many folks there. If I had job opportunities there, I would gladly move back.

In thinking about the hateful post (which, by the way, I subsequently deleted), I am reminded of lyrics from a song by Jon Bon Jovi, "Who Says You Can't Go Home?" Selected lines appear below:
Who says you can't go home
There's only one place they call me one of their own
Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone, who says you can't go home
Who says you can't go back, been all around the world and as a matter of fact
There's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home ...

I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face
There isn't one of these lines that I would erase
I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take I know that I'm not alone
You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home
These are my streets, the only life I've ever known,
who says you can't go home ...

It's been a long long road
Feels like I never left, that's how the story goes

It doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter where you go
If it's a million miles away or just a mile up the road
Take it in, take it with you when you go,
who says you can't go home ...


Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that people must be rude enough to attack you. It's obvious that this person is not very educated and is afraid to identify themself, so I am not going to identify myself either. You have put a lot of hard work and time in to the community of Dycusburg and most people appreciate it and enjoy reading it. So have no worries about one person who is jealous of all the hard work you have done. Have a good day Matthew!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work you've been doing. Too bad the original poster isn't spending his/her time and energy doing positive things for the town. Remember this quote from a Finnish composer: "Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been erected to a critic."