“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”—Charles Darwin
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.“—Steve Jobs
I should stop right here. Everything about “change” is said eloquently above. But today I’m thinking about different changes. Over five decades, the changes to a city, your city, any city is remarkable. My home in Bakersfield had the downtown devastated in 1952 by an earthquake and “change” happened overnight. In my birthplace town, Lafayette, where I’m wrapping up a month long visit, change has been constant and non-stop for the 50 years I’ve been observing. I don’t like much of the growth, spotty, hap-hazard and poorly planned. Yet, I understand how difficult it is to re-zone a huge parcel of land and “plan” the outcome. Too many fragments of yesterday remain and when the new apartment buildings or stupid little strip malls get crammed here and there, one has a mish-mash of ugly. It takes years sometimes to weed out the ugly, sometimes it stays.
Recently on Facebook, a local nostalgia group published a series of photos. (I stole them…thank you Lafayette “do you remember”) I publish them here. It’s an interesting look at one corner of the downtown from the ‘50s, ‘70s and now. The first building is an old ugly building that was everything from a Masonic Lodge to a furniture store. When it was first an empty lot, the county fair was held there back in 1845. This building was erected in 1872.
Now a beautiful building stands there housing the City Hall.
These are good, modern and beautiful changes. For anything to change it takes someone or a few someones to first change their minds. I’ll just end with another quote that says it perfectly.