by Travis Mateer
I’ve been having some very surreal experiences that straddle one’s expectations of what “public” and “private” even mean anymore. I’ll try to explain.
What’s more public than roads? We, the public, certainly need them, as does the private sector. We all need roads and, to get over things like rivers, we need bridges.
I was looking at a VERY BUSY bridge on Friday. Well, the bridge was more of a backdrop as I tried to envision what the land AROUND the bridge might be. What it might be for the public.
To facilitate the vision quest, a nice man who has a hard job keeping the roads and bridges functioning stood in a dry tributary of the Clark Fork while two armed private security guards stood by.
Signs are important. The geography we scanned for opportunity is currently off limits to the public, as noted by signs that clearly state NO TRESPASSING.
But–if things happened with deeds and contracts and, most importantly, money–that could one day change.
It’s important to understand how quickly things can change. I experienced this first hand when I was told the event that had a sign stating “open to the public” was, in fact, a private event.
How did this strange alchemy occur? Something to do with a magical safe space and difficult questions from an obnoxious mouth (mine) which is white. My mouth, that is. My soul is any fucking color I want it to be.
Since realizing I might have magical powers that can change public things into private things, I started wondering what other things that I was doing that was, perhaps, magical.
Could remembering things be a kind of magical power? And how about not just remembering it, but doing something with my mind that makes it somehow relevant to the HERE and NOW.
Is that time travel?
No, but I am getting ahead of myself, because this whole post is actually a short story, which is actually just a reminder of the magically monetarily beneficial things that can happen when something of value that’s “public” goes “private”.
This story is an especially important story for those who might be sad that their crisis levy is in jeopardy. I hope they listen closely.
Once upon a time there was a hospital. That hospital was a thing that helped people, which meant that it held immense value to the community where it allowed this good work to happen for the people.
For the public people.
Then one day something changed. The hospital was still the same, but instead of being a thing that generated value for the public it served, it had become a thing that benefited other people. Private people.
To make this happen a great collection of numbers was created and put into something called a foundation, which still exists to this day.
What is the name of this foundation with the big numbers that should go to help out the public? The name is The Headwaters Foundations, and it is there that the worriers of the struggling mill levy should go if the public says NO in November.