What’s that little guuget?
A tape recorder.
Probably made in China, huh?
Uh, yeah, probably. So how long have you lived in Berne?
My whole life! I expect you want the years too, huh?
That wouldn’t be bad.
Ok, and how has the town changed in that time?
It went to pot.
Jobs have left town something fierce. That’s right. CTS at one time had 1,700. Now they’re going to have basically zero, right? Dunbar is going, Berco is going, Mackintosh is going, Berne Tube is going.
Have you ever thought of leaving yourself?
…Well, something needs to be done as far as leaving. I’m not going to say I won’t.
So what else?
This town’s in a world of hurt. Big time. I’m serious! The next two, three years are going to be bad. Real bad! Unless something changes. It’s all down hill. Service Store’s going out of business. There’s very little downtown anymore.
Have you ever been in there?
Never as far as I know, Doc.
So is there a stigma against people who go in there?
Against them? Not as much as there used to be Doc. This town has changed one heck of a lot.
You say we need more business but you don’t think it’s good that outsiders come in?
What’s wrong with the people who are here? Why do you have to have outsiders come in? Why can’t the people here do something?
Maybe they can’t. Maybe they need outsiders.
You can bring some outsiders in but when you start bring a lot of outside stuff in the town ain’t going to be what it used to be. You can see that yourself. You want to get good quality people in here, not trash. You can’t condemn me for that statement. That’s the problem with this town. People are convinced there’s nothing wrong!
Ok, well, what do you think is happening that is good?
There isn’t much good now.
What about the Clock Tower?
That ain’t going to solve our problems. I’m not going to say it might not help but it ain’t going to solve our problems.
Would you give a donation to see its completion?
Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha. Ohhhh. You want me to go on record with that don’t you? We need jobs is what we need in this town. Big time. If you don’t have jobs in a town it’s going to go to pot.
Where are these jobs going?
Where do you think CTS is going? Singapore. At least that’s where some of them are going. They’ve got people over right now training them. The biggest problem, well, one of the problems is that people don’t think the town is in trouble.
Yeah, I think we started a little late to turn it into a tourist town.
The thing is everyone else is tourist too. Not just Berne, Indiana. Everybody wants it. Doc, that’s just a temporary solution. The big thing is that they want to get all these people who are fifty years old and who are retiring, to come back here and live. What are they going to come back here for? They’re used to the big time city, most of those people. There’s nothin’ here, is there?
Peace and quiet.
Yeah, those people are used to doing some things. What is there here to do?
Golf. Hang out at the retirement community.
You know what? Man wasn’t made to retire. That doesn’t mean you can’t slow down or change. When you have 24 hours in a day and don’t do anything how are you going to fill those hours? You’ve still gotta fill them. They say, “Well I’m going to do this.” Well you know what? That only lasts about 2-3 weeks and then they’re tired of that. There’s a lot of people here who are 50-55 years old and they’re not doing nothing…but I’m just the jackass out back. You’re the man in the know…So what are you up to? It’s awful strange how you just came out here to ask me this. Something must really be a brewin.’ Big time.
Well, I do this with a lot of people. I’ve talked to the owners of Haps, Ben Sprunger, another guy I went to high school with…
Yeah, then I put it on the internet. You’re one of many.
Ooohhhh, Ok Doc.