Table Talk

by Karen Colterman

This may be a rural community but it isn't a primitive one.

With a new year comes new challenges. One of the challenges facing each of us who live or work in Fallbrook is keeping Fallbrook beautiful.

Yes, there are organizations that already do some of this, such as the the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, the Treescape Project and the Fallbrook Garden Club, which help to beautify our area through the groups' land acquisitions and the tree and flower planting efforts.

One of the things we can all do, though, is to pick up trash around town, and better yet, not throw it down in the first place.

As I sat waiting for my coffee at Me and Charlie's drive-through Monday morning, I looked across Aviation at an ice plant bank. It was littered with trash. After I left with my coffee, I headed to Mission and stopped at the sign at the corner of Mission and Aviation long enough to take a good gander at all the garbage in the creek and on its banks. Ugh. Topped with the graffiti on the culverts, it was a major eyesore.

In my neighborhood, I am constantly amazed at the amount of junk I pick out of our ice plant banks. Beer bottles, soda cans, paper, plastic. One time someone even tossed a water pipe (read bong) into the ice plant. I am thankful I found it before my young son happened upon it.

What has happened to good old-fashioned respect for property? What makes a teen-aged girl in a small black car flick a lit cigarette out the window of the car in which she is riding? What makes a neighbor throw aluminum foil and beer cans over another neighbor's fence? What makes someone walking through a neighborhood, throw their soda can onto the ground? Why do some people allow their dogs to run lose tearing up the neighborhood and leaving stinky packages all over the yard? And what about the gutter language that one hears from loud-speaking 15-year-olds who gather at the street corners after school before heading home?

C'mon, folks. We may be a rural society but we are not a primitive society, no matter what our cultural backgrounds. Fallbrook belongs to all of us. Let's all work for the benefit of our neighbors in keeping this area clean and beautiful.

Let's all pitch in. Let's all teach our future generation some good old-fashioned values. Let's all respect one another.

Karen Colterman is the Village Life editor for the Fallbrook-Bonsall North County Times. She can be reached by calling (760) 728-5511, or e-mailing to

Reprinted by permission of the North County Times. Column published in North County Times, ~21 January 1999, B8?.

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Last update: 27 January 1999.