By David P Beiter

Copyright (c) 1990, 1995 by Dave Byter, proliferate freely.

Dear Wage Slave,

Have you ever wanted to live the easy-paced life in a Third World Country,
without the hassles of a foreign language, foreign money, and foreign laws?
You could live in an exotic Third World County at Ritner, Kentucky, (population
25 the last time I counted) and still be in the good ole USofA.

Don't hold me too close on the language and the law, but the local merchants
still traded me goods and services for Federal Reserve Notes last time I was in
town.  And the cashier is still expected to fill out your check for you.  The
area is awash with $100 bills, reputedly from the local marijuana farmers or
cocaine smugglers, depending on whom you talk to.

But Wayne County, Kentucky, certainly qualifies as a Third World County.  We
have it all, from being ruled by a Prince, to having the Nation's highest
illiteracy and sub teenage pregnancy rates.  U.S.News & World Report calls it
an "oral culture" with "their beverage of choice: Whiskey." I would call it an
anti_literate society that isn't too fussy about their source of alcohol.

The land around here is mountainous.  (Actually, it's plateauxous, carved up
into lebenty-seven jillion little hills and hollers.) Lotsa caves, cliffs, and
such places that The Yuppie fears to tread.  I own about 150 acres here,
surrounded on three and a half sides by The Little South Fork of The Cumberland
Moat.  This has been certified by The Commonwealth of Kentucky as a genuine
"Wild and Scenic River".  About half the land is cleared, half is woods.  Most
of the land isn't fit to plow, and some isn't even fit to mow.  Lotsa rock.  If
you are familiar with karst, you know the situation.  No crops, tho I've done
it in the past.  A few cattle, goats, & donkeys keep the jungle under control.
Truly a half fast farm.

I live in a somewhat modernized Civil War vintage log cabin.  I could help you
find something similar.  Or you might remodel a barn or shed.  Or drag in a
trailer.  As strange as it must seem for someone used to the idea of a 30 year
mortgage, you can build your own house.  Really!  I mean, buy a hammer, a box
of nails, and some boards, and stick 'em together.  You might even convince me
that you are so valuable [for instance by excreting a gold brick every morning]
that I should supply you with housing!

I'm looking for someone(s) to help me maintain my place, and to keep it
together while I'm gone.  Basically, this means playing watchdog, milking the
cow, and keeping the goats out of the garden.  This for a few days at a
stretch, tho I might be gone a few weeks or months if I thought that you could
function for that long.

Money.  People think that I should pay them to live here.  How bizarre!  If you
are looking to make lotsa money, this ain't the place.  Try counterfeiting or
selling "investments".  You'll have a lot of trouble selling your labor by the
hour in this area.  The biggest employer here is welfare.  Next comes marijuana
production & cocaine transshipment.  Legitimate employment is very mixed small
farming, tobacco, coal, timber, oil, tourism, and some light industry.  Plus
the normal services.  Nepotism and cronyism are pandemic.  The natives despise
any furrner who would attempt to take a job away from a deserving local son.

This is the ultimate low rent district for the self-employed writer,
programmer, artist, or craftsman^H^H^Hperson^H^H^Hchild.  There are lotsa
affluent tourists at Lake Cumberland, Big South Fork, and Yahoo Falls.
Speleologists, dendrologists, limnologists, or b"otiologists might be
interested in field studies here.

I have moral objections to welfare.  While I can't (or, rather, won't) make my
morals yours, the burden of proof is on you.  For starters, tell me how you
will live when the gravy train stops.  I certainly don't want a bunch of
beggars whining at my door.  Is it moral to take from the productive and give
to the unproductive?

The schools here are horrible, just like everywhere else.  I can't think of
anything good to say about them, unless your kids are majoring in chasing
balls.  Oh, you can establish your own private school, and the County School
Bored will ignore you.  That's the best thing about the local schools!

You should rent first and find out if you really like life in The Boonies
before you put your money into your place in the wilderness.  If it is what you
want, then land is cheap here.  In 50 to 100 acre chunks, $200 an acre is
possible, $300 an acre is probable, and for $500 the choice is vast.  "Y'all
git whatcha pay fer." If it isn't what you want, then free is too expensive.

There is a list of representative properties in the file "RETIRE_H.ERE".

Old farmhouses rent for around $100 a month.  If you want an inhouse, that's
another $100.  In the fall and winter there is a good selection.  In spring and
summer, most are already rented.  I am not a rental agency.

I'm 50, born a real Yankee [east of The Hudson], raised in Stillwater, New
York, a PhD dropout, ex-married, ex-geochemist.  I'm an agnostic, but I can
tolerate your religious beliefs until they include me.  I long ago made my
peace with god.  I've been living in The Wilderness since '66.  I accidentally
bought a hill farm in '71.  I retired in '73 when I realized that it made more
sense to make outgo equal income, than to make income equal outgo.  And I must
admit that I preferred pig farming to playing departmental politics.

I'm pretty much of a hermit.  I don't appreciate a lot of traffic thru my
life.  Prowling around in the caves, woods, creeks and backwoods is my idea of
a good time.  I walk alone.  Nobody else wants to be leader, and a gaggle of
followers has always made me nervous.  They expect me to play Mother Hen.  I'm
a frustrated biologist, fascinated by the assortment of life here.  Caves are
my specialty, but I'm happy anyplace that grows something besides people.  When
I'm around the house, I do a lot of reading and computer programming.  I do
some photography, but as education, edification, and information rather than as
an art form.

I'm a bit of a survivalist.  I hate to depend upon someone else to feed me.
That's just too important a job to leave to the wage slaves.  It appears to me
that our civilization is coming unravelled.  Oh yeah, the economy is booming
[like a bunch of ants on a log tossed into the campfire], employment is up
[more people than ever need to sell themselves by the hour to survive], GNP is
up [we are consuming resources faster than ever], and inflation is down [would
you believe forever?] but I don't believe that this all equals prosperity.
Cassandra sez that we will have a dictator, and that we shall welcome him.  Are
you familiar with Executive Order No 11490?

Sometimes I think that I invent all this nonsense just to justify to my yuppy
friends why I choose to live in The Boonies.  Then I listen to "The Evening
News".  Perhaps nuclear war is the solution, not the problem.  Have you heard
the story that AIDS is the product of a deep ecology think tank called
Anthropomortic Research Associates (ARA)?

If this sounds interesting, send me a "dollar" and I'll send you a county road
map with the route marked.  I'll even give you your "dollar" back when I get my
map back.  BYO everything.  WARNING: Alcohol is contraband in these parts.  It
is a misdemeanor to be caught in public with it, and a felony to transport.
Loaded pistols are OK in this Third World County, if they are not concealed.
Dogs and children must be kept on their leashes for their own safety.

David P Beiter

Wayne County, Kentucky, 1995.


Text version of this file


This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/3RDWORLD.html