Ghost Town

There is a town upriver that my friend Mychele wants to take over and turn into some sort of ecovillage. It’s largely a ghost town of boarded up businesses and a dwindling population, with a dollar store on the periphery to suck up any lingering commerce.

We could all buy houses there, she says. They’re going for a song.

We could have a farm and grow our own food. Have a wood shop. Turn the pole barn into a community dance hall.

Better to dream than despair. The unsettling of America that Wendell Berry wrote of a half-century ago is manifesting its destiny in all these dying Midwest towns, each of them eyeing the horizon, waiting for a miracle. Or a Mychele.


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