You know its weird, I’m going to a Mayoral event today where I’ll be identified as one of 14 businesses that have been around for 20 years. Which I see as surviving mostly. And sure, that’s something, but as I’ve told people, I really don’t tell anyone anymore about how they should come to do business in Savannah anymore. Not unless you’re rich, have someone else’s money to set aflame or are just a gambler by nature. And in some sense, I don’t even encounter those people much anymore to direct them either way. There’s a REASON massive homeless camps now protrude from the offramp into Savannah from the Savannah bridge. Have you seen rent prices? Real estate? Savannah is being marginalized or has been into some weird artificial reality where most of the “homes” are vacation houses. Most of the people are here temporarily as tourist, student or retiree. Start up enterprisers are not just being priced out of Savannah, they can’t even get their foot in the door. Not unless you can get the city to mail you a business license to a homeless camp. If there were far less stringent rules, red tape & bureacracy that would allow “free enterprise” to truly be free, you might see a more relative boomtown than just a town with some Boom Boom for those that can afford it. But the controllers don’t want to see anything that isn’t “pretty” and structured and ordered. They don’t want to see the American Dream in action or struggling. They just want to perpetuate the fantasy that its just always here doing well and that those who are involved with it must wear a certain fashion, have a certain look and only one process (that they dictate), for getting it. That’s because those who already have it, gained fairly or not, are part of a club that believes that because they live behind the gates of some community and that they drive a Mercedes, that unless you come into the game with those things or only aspire for those same things, that you are not worthy of the club. They don’t want to see your dirt, your grime, your less than, perfect, albeit wholly original way of finding success. Those controllers either sold their souls to the club, were given the tools without earning them, or have become so cynical in their success, that they’ve lost all memory of the road and are like Mad Kings with an invented sense of themselves and a deluded reality. Have you ever seen pictures of Savannah’s streets in the 19th Century? There were amazing neon signs but there was also grime and peddlers everywhere and people on the corner selling things. Commerce was in every air molecule of this place. Even though the elite may have sneered here and there, the driving force were those people on their way up. They were the engine, the motor of the American Dream. You couldn’t red tape them to death because they’d have burned your office down and tarred and feathered you. And I’m here to tell you as war veteran, that atmosphere, that original American arena. its been hijacked. Subverted. Subjugated. Granted there will always be individualists like me who break the sound barrier, but I want to see an America full of pilots. Not just the occasional stunt flyer like myself with war stories. And you know, thank God for the optimistic Americans who say, “don’t let’em get you down” or “keep on doing what you’re doing!” I get that. And I know you’re not supposed to talk about things like this because when you do some people feel let down by you or they think you’re just bitter and like a crazy person are talking about ghosts that don’t exist. I’m not really here doing that. I count my blessings. I realize we all have good days and bad. I’m just telling you what I know which is the truth of the experiences I’ve had in 20 years and more. Trust me, I’m trying to keep it all alive in the way I know it should be, can be and as Ayn Rand favorably said, “ought to be.” And I don’t just mean for me, but for everyone who wants the American Dream for themselves. Anyway, here’s to 20 years of something and thank you to those who helped me get here. I’ll keep pushing this boulder up the hill till it rolls down or back on me one.