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Fri, May 24

Community View | Pitchin’ in and keepin’ it clean

The Community View writer believes if everyone pitches in picking up trash, Kingman would look pristine. (Daily Miner file photo)

The Community View writer believes if everyone pitches in picking up trash, Kingman would look pristine. (Daily Miner file photo)

I have adopted many things in my life, mostly abandoned kittens and geriatric cats, but now I have taken on something unusual – at least for me. I have adopted a road. Fountain Hills Road to be exact.

To find it, go north on Stockton Hill Road to the first cattle guard and take a right. That’s it, my baby. Though it’s not furry and it doesn’t purr, I’m still a proud road mother. (Maybe I should find a term that doesn’t make me sound like a hog-riding, leather-bar queen.)

Why that road, you might ask. Because on my daily walks, I got tired of seeing all the trash tossed by uncaring litterers. I said to myself, “Someone should do something.” And then I thought, “Hey, you’re someone.”

On my next walk, I brought a huge garbage bag. I picked up 40-ounce bottles of Miller’s Draft, 24-ounce tallboys of Budweiser, plastic grocery bags, crushed soda cans, empty cigarette packs, rusty tins of chewing tobacco, McDonald’s bags, and string cheese wrappers. I retrieved so much detritus that the bag got too heavy to carry. I felt like a reverse Santa, only sweatier. That’s when I made a desperate 911 call to my husband, “Frank, help! Bring the truck!”

After that overflowing bag of offal, I thought my next walk would be a trash-free joy to my senses. Boy, was I wrong. Actually – tallboy. Somehow the Miller’s bottles, Budweiser cans, and string cheese wrappers were back. I picked them up again, but these three castoffs reappeared every day. I began to wonder if I’d stumbled upon some evil scientist’s captive breeding program.

Not to name call – no, forget it – let’s name call, I dubbed these dumpers the Miller Marauder, the Budweiser Bandit and the String Cheese Stinker. And to you three – you know who you are – I have one thing to say: “Stop it! One man’s trash is another man’s – a trash!”

Kingman is blessed with such spectacular scenery – especially the magical, Chamber of Commerce view from the top of Fountain Hills Road looking across the valley to the Peacock and Hualapai mountains – why do you want to spoil it?

In my neighborhood I’m getting a reputation as the lady (hopefully not the Crazy Lady) who cleans up the road. When people drive by they wave and give me a thumbs up. Neighbors I don’t even know thank me. Though I enjoy their encouragement, because I live here only part of the year, I worried that my adoptive road, suffering from separation anxiety when I was gone, would again pile up with garbage.

On my first return trip to Kingman after a two-month absence, I expected my road to be in a horrible state. But it was pristine. Someone or some many had literally picked up where I left off. And to them I say, “Thank you.”

It reminded me that it only takes one person to motivate others into action. Now when I pass neighbors on my walk, they’re proud to show me that they too are pitching in. They’ll pull squashed beer cans out of their pockets and flash a smiling thumbs-up.

Our road looks good all the time now, which gave me an idea. If everyone in Kingman adopted just one road, or a small section of a road, or even an empty lot, in no time at all the whole city would be sparkling clean.

Please, let’s all pitch in and adopt this idea. (Thumbs up.)


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