Quotes / Dying Town

The over-all impression is one of a town that is waiting to die. It is not enough, these days, to say that Chamberlain will never be the same. It may be closer to the truth to say that Chamberlain will simply never again be.
Stephen King, Carrie, final paragraph of "The Legacy of TK: Scorched Earth and Scorched Hearts" from the epilogue.

Well we're living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down
Out in Bethlehem they're killing time
Filling out forms, standing in line
Billy Joel, "Allentown"

At the east end of town, at the foot of the hill,
There's a chimney so tall, it's called Aragon Mill
But there's no smoke at all coming out of the stack,
For the mill has shut down, and it's never coming back
And the only tune I hear is the sound of the wind,
As she blows through the town, wheel and spin, wheel and spin
— Si Kahn, "Aragon Mill" (AKA Belfast Mill)

With the smaller highways left to rot, so too were the homes and business given over to the fading circulation of traffic. No cars, no people. No people, no money. And when the money stops rolling in, people either need to pack up and move, or remain in stagnation. Vast parts of the country have been thus ignored by the supremacy of the superhighway, leaving entire towns to turn to dust, the highways linking these places shifting and cracking with nobody to fix them. Lonely neon buzzing down a dead highway. A rest stop filled with people who aren't zombies, but at a distance probably look that way because they are, metaphorically, the living dead. Junkyards gone to rust. Restaurants with desert plants pushing up out of the walls. Bridges across dark streams too rickety to drive across because the government won't commit the money to fix them anymore. In these places, the United States lives on wheezing life support.

The snows came the next day, and piles of earth later marred the whiteness of the town cemetery as the bodies were buried. More would follow as Buddy Carson's victims succumbed to the disease with which he had infected them. Some died quickly, others dragged on for weeks. Nobody lasted longer than a month. Reed's bar closed. So did the Easton Motel, as Jed followed his son Phil into the ground. People left for new places and the town began to decay, as surely as if Buddy had found a way to taint its buildings and corrode its streets. It was the beginning of the end for Easton.

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