I returned home from a long work trip to the Bowling Green-Toledo area Thursday afternoon, and I had plenty of fresh air on the way back.

Considering the mood I was in, I needed some fresh air, but not quite how I got it.

The passenger window of my car was completely broken out the night before by a thief. I parked my car at 11:30 p.m. at a hotel in Maumee and when I returned just after 7 in the morning, glass was everywhere, my camera was gone and so was the little headset I use to type while I conduct interviews.

Fortunately I had taken my laptop with me, and my GPS was still closed up in the center compartment, where I had put it that night.

I had a couple of thoughts. For one, I wished I had put everything in the trunk. I thought I had things covered, but someone obviously saw something or they wouldn’t have broken in.

A little Custered

And secondly, I was mad, because I had driven all that distance for two stories I wanted to cover: A morning breakfast talk with the head of Cooper Farms, and the Ohio wheat field day in “Custar” — a community named (and misspelled) after the 1800s soldier George Armstrong Custer.

I had work to do and I intended to do it. But someone took my means.

Instead, I found myself having to go back home and at a reduced speed, in order to keep the bits of glass from blowing throughout my car. I had some “Custer” in me that day, and if I had met up with the person who did this to me, well, it would not have been good.

The occasional trip I make to northwestern Ohio is one of my favorites. I get to drive by so many large, flat fields, and there’s always plenty of opportunity for pictures (if you have a camera). But the closer you get to the city, you have to be careful.

The responding police officer told me that they’ve had a lot of burglary in the area recently, which he figures is because of the poor condition of the economy. I don’t doubt his word one bit, but I couldn’t help but think, I live in the same economy as the person who did this to me.

I pay the same $4 for a gallon of gas, the same price for food at the grocery, the same inflation, in addition to having to pay for damages done to me by this thief! Each month, I buy this thing called auto insurance so that when someone breaks into my car with a crowbar, or I get struck by someone without car insurance, I can have it fixed.

I pay for health insurance, so that if I get sick, I can pay the doctor who works on me. And I pay taxes, so that if someone else gets sick who doesn’t buy health insurance, they can still get everything I do anyway. And I keep money on hand to pay this thing called a “deductible,” which is the amount you pay before your insurance takes over.

Yes, we’re in a time of high unemployment, and people are struggling.

No excuse

But this “bad economy” is not an excuse for the bad behavior we’re seeing. More and more, the real victims are the people who work and pay their way through life, because someone else is always looking to take from them.

The thieves had ought to think twice, because when they rob working people, they’re robbing the same people whose tax money and gifts to charity keep them fed, clothed and protected.

I think this is true of farmers, as well. So many of the people today don’t have a single thing to do with food production, don’t understand what goes on at a farm, and yet they expect three meals a day — cheap as possible — even free if they feel they can’t afford it.

No, we don’t want people going hungry.

Respect providers

But we need to have some respect for the ones who produce what we eat, and know that the hand that feeds us is almost always someone else’s, before it becomes our own.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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