Tearing away childhood, and much more

Like my fellow writers who have voiced the woes about the destruction of our area, my neighborhood too will soon be gone. Someone went and bought all the woods that I played in as a child and will now rip it to pieces to build houses that will overlook the McDowell Bridge and the junkyard in Biltmore. All of you who have enjoyed that hill of trees when coming over the McDowell Bridge will in time no longer have that view.

You who have had the money to make a choice in preserving or developing keep using the excuse that we sold it to you in the first place, or we had just as much of an opportunity to buy it as well. You are only trying to justify your own greed. Yet every one of you come here ranting about my culture, and how much you love the mountains where [my family] and so many have lived for generations. You think we are being stubborn about change? We aren’t. We know these mountains; we know this town. Developers, just like the zoning commission, real-estate board and City Council, have forgotten we like to see beauty too. We were raised to respect our land and preserve it—not make it into a suburbia of the elite who “want to be good neighbors.” I see you as nothing but 21st-century carpetbaggers.

I am writing this in complete support of my fellow kindreds who, like me, have had enough. The only question I have to ask all of those involved is this: How would you feel if the tables were turned … and we came to your home and threw rocks in your windows, tore up your expensive manicured lawn, took a rope and tore down your trees, went inside your house and took your most precious family heirlooms and sold them on eBay? There’s no difference: Our heirlooms are these mountains, of which I am proud and blessed to be a part.

— Anna Rector

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