“Death was a friend, and sleep was Death’s brother.”
_____________________________ ~ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
HN NOTES – HYANNIS – It’s a good thing plainclothes police officers happened by and noticed a local intoxicated man down, with a nasty gash on his head…
The extremely legless gentleman was unsuccessfully attempting to put his left sneaker back on over the sneaker which was already on his right foot… and had he been unsupervised and finally figured out his error, he may have very likely wandered into the roadway and/or taken another perilous digger.
Thankfully, our firefighters arrived with an ambulance and stretcher, as they always do, carting another poor soul away to CCH, to treat that nasty gash.
Make no mistake about it; an acute booze overdose, combined with gravity, often leads to someone down on the ground, hurt.
No matter the onlooker’s age, or how often one witnesses such things, it’s never a pretty sight. Today’s sight being just a stone throw from two high schools, an elementary school, and a residential program for young mothers and their babies…
Moments prior, at Main Street and High School Road, just footsteps from the above stricken gentleman, police had taken another intoxicated man into custody for drug charges and protective custody.
It was an all too common “Hytown two-for,” two souls saved from themselves, and the litany of bad things which can and will go wrong if left unsupervised.
These are the type of calls police and firefighters deal with 24/7 in the Hyannis area. Overdoses and drunk people down on the ground, which sometimes doesn’t mix with the dreams and aspirations of others living or running businesses in the area…
… but hey, that’s just the way things are, get used to it because it’s only getting worse.
On a different note, it’s the so-called “tourist season,” and while officials frantically step up efforts to keep the Main Street area family friendly, it’s a seemingly endless and impossible task due to the number of local homeless shelters, programs, and service agencies which also conveniently cater to our teaming population of drug addicts and alcoholics spilling out onto sidewalks and roadways… all in the very same area where some are trying to cater to tourists.
(Note: not all of our local homeless are substance abusers, but a significant number of them are…)
It’s a numbers game and no matter how hard our local officials try, dangerously intoxicated individuals are bound to slip through the cracks, landing face first on Main Street, requiring emergency attention from our already overburdened first responders…
… they always have, and they always will, especially since downtown Hyannis has apparently shifted its priorities from tourism to social services which reach out to and care for those suffering from homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse issues. (I actually hope I’m wrong about that, but fear I may be right…)
Many home and business owners also fear there’s no end in sight, resigning themselves to accepting Hyannis as the ever-growing central outpatient ward for the region’s downtrodden and needy.
Have we reached the point of acceptance, where seeing people down on the ground throughout the day as just being a byproduct of our main industry, service agencies and shelters?
Perhaps we should market and promote Hyannis for what it has become, the region’s outpatient ward.
I doubt we’ll soon see pamphlet pictures of gravity challenged overdosing locals tucked in next to Hyannis Harbor Tour brochures outside Main Street ice cream shops…
… but why not? Shouldn’t we be promoting what Hyannis has become and what it does best?
We’re the main outpatient ward for the region’s afflicted, and we must be good at, because it’s booming here like no other place around!
Shouldn’t we embrace that? Open a mom and pop needle exchange/bed and breakfast/homeless shelter? The afflicted take vacations too…
Let’s face it, there’s no sense trying to grow tourism in outpatient rich soil. It’s like the dust bowl days of the dirty 1930s, where tens of thousand of farming families were forced to abandon their homesteads and move on; the ones who hung in too long becoming weary, with diminishing prospects of making it elsewhere…
… it sometimes feels that way around here, like Steinbeck’s depression era “Grapes of Wrath.”
On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to have a publicly funded social service job, you’re golden.
Don’t ever leave that job, bub…
… you lucky devil.
P.S. – Today’s HyTown Vignette is brought to you by King Curtis… [Press play, mix it all together and BEAT WELL! 😉 ]
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© 2017 Robert Bastille, HyannisNews.com
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