Street curbs are designed to contain the street and its users. The majority of street trash accumulates there in the curb line for sweepers like Daisy Paolucci and other town persons who feel civic responsibility for a clean town. They broom sweep even though the town contracts truck born sweepers to clean the streets. These, town civic minded sweepers, have a calling rather than a duty placed on them by others.
Curb lines have quite a history. Back, before passable alleys, all garbage collections were situated there. Every type of container was used before the borough tried its hand at imposing standardization. Remember, in olden days, every household burnt coal as wood availability declined, in either case, both created volumes of ash which were put out at the curb as part of the trash cycle. Then, the country grew up and packaging became a volume trash maker for everything bought from stores and shippers. More and more trash created as, just in time, alleys where considered important and trash disappeared from view - out of sight, out of mind.
I remember from my early years, about out site seeing, with dad driving us through a town and seeing very large piles of furniture stacked on the curb line for a house and I asked about why this was. Dad assured us that incidences like this had diminished greatly since the wrath of the Great Depression had about its run course in the late years of the 1930's. Evictions were life episodes, although diminishing, life lines were fragile, at best, and many ceased at the curb line. The Great World War changed the way Americans reacted to life. Curative, full employment, was a pill for social ills.
For Sale, For Lease, For Rent - signs became common place ; the curb line became more prominent as a function in the design of streets and, finally, assumed their rightful place in a borough's landscape.
My thoughts, though, bring me back to youthful feelings about the roll of curbs. Too often I squint faces into the piles of disposed furniture from evictions long forgotten. Will this happen again ? Will citizens be marginalized again from their inability to pay for housing or for basic healthcare ? Will the funnel remain reversed and draw all increased income from the American engine of production up, away from the producers, into the deepening pockets of our oligarchs ?
Will curb lines up north become clogged with the destitute population as it has down here on the sun coast of Florida ? How will the old, the in firmed, the immobile be treated ? I know, I'll expire shortly, so don't cry for me, save your tears for those with few resources, who have to live life out there behind a tree.
Ronald C. Downie