THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Howard County Maryland

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OK, some of Day 6 photos were taken on Day 7. Want to be honest about the shooting part. But the thoughts are from Day 6. My thoughts this day are of the benefits of starting this business in how it has opened my eyes and is taking me down roads I haven’t traveled. That’s a fairly sad statement that I’m not the one to travel off the beaten path much. But in starting to examine this county, I find myself excited to turn down a road or neighborhood I haven’t been before.

Interesting use of a Mailbox along Pfefferkorn Road Photo by Mike Hartley

Interesting use of a Mailbox along Pfefferkorn Road
Photo by Mike Hartley

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been through more of this county than most individuals. I grew up in the newspaper business so as a child I had a paper route. I put on many miles on a few bikes in my youth. Right out of high school I got work at the local community paper chain (Stromberg Publications) as it was known back in the 70’s and that did the Howard County Times and 13 other weekly papers. I mainly worked production but through the photographs of talented photographers like Keith Weller, Tenney Masson, Chuck Weis and others that I would reproduce for printing, I got to know the people and places I hadn’t seen before.

Patapsco Valley Park - Danials area Photo by Mike Hartley

Patapsco Valley Park – Danials area
Photo by Mike Hartley

As a newspaper co-publisher at Zip Publishing of the ZIP 21042 and 21043 newspapers (later called “The View”) I helped circulate tens of thousands of papers through those two zip codes on a weekly basis. Yeah allot of that was in the dark but you can also see some very interesting things at night also. Plus I got to try my hand at doing photography when I wasn’t wearing a number of other hats.

Barn along McKendree Road near Lisbon Photo by Mike Hartley

Barn along McKendree Road near Lisbon
Photo by Mike Hartley

But I feel like I’m rediscovering things again. Finding life and homes and business and woods and farms that I’ve never laid Eyez on. I’m also excited to be meeting the people of the county and I hope I learn some good stories from them to share here also. But until then you’ll have to listen to my boring behind.

Farm along Rt. 144  Photo by Mike Hartley

Farm along Rt. 144
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve been marveling at the growth and change I see. And also wishing it would slow. And that wish is an old one of mine but doesn’t look as if it will be granted. For wonderful people, space, schools and resources are a popular thing. So we keep growing. So much growing that were groaning more collectively now.

Entrance to Ho Co Living Farm Heritage Museum  Photo by Mike Hartley

Entrance to Ho Co Living Farm Heritage Museum
Photo by Mike Hartley

The affluent status this county has also reached is very impressive. But as is the case with much of the country, great wealth can be right next to great poverty. And while we continue to contract on the poor in this county, we see no end to the high end housing developments. Hey, I agree growth, provides opportunity. I just wish it was better distributed. I hope to see our ADD (attention deficit disorder) society wake up and really start dealing with hard issues instead of throwing a few dollars at it and walking away.

Homeowner along Rt 144 near fairgrounds clearing downed branches with his Ford tractor. Photo by Mike Hartley

Homeowner along Rt 144 near fairgrounds clearing downed branches with his Ford tractor.
Photo by Mike Hartley

For instance I’m hopefully going to retire in this county. But I’m really worried if I can afford to. I would hate to leave our family home. I can’t imagine leaving the lifelong friends I have here. I can’t imagine moving further away from my children. But I also don’t want to live where I’m house poor. Hopefully I’ll have it paid off by the time I retire from my main job at the Newspaper, but just the cost of living even without a house payment is staggering here.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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