The Silence is Deafening
For the seventh consecutive year, I will attempt to relate the state of affairs involving Hickory's Economy and Culture through my, some might say, unique perspective. This obviously isn't how everyone sees things. Simply put, I would describe the condition of Hickory as So So... otherwise known as Same Ole, Same Ole.
It has been a little over 13 months since I last assessed Hickory's economic situation. Not much has happened around here over the past year. I have cut my postings back drastically, because there basically isn't much to talk about, because there hasn't been much going on.. and with a stagnant economy, there isn't much need to continuously go over the same issues that remain unaddressed.
In November 2014, we saw a Bond referendum passed where Hickory Inc. pushed a narrative that it was urgent that this happen, because of the state of the local economic condition. In 2015 a bond commission was formed under the auspices that it would play a role in the implementation of the $25 million of Bonds that were intended for Hickory's infrastructure. Another $15 million was set aside to develop a business park in the Startown area. The Economic Development Corporation led by Scott Millar will direct those monies. The Bond Commission has nothing to do with the business park project.
City Manager Mick Berry stated a few weeks ago at a City Council meeting that "the City" would be coming forward with some proposals about where some of those monies will be spent. It is still not completely clear when any of the bonds will be issued. Hickory Inc. will have to go to New York to speak and negotiate with Financial Advisors and Brokers before the issuance of any bonds. None of this is an overnight process. Once these negotiations are finalized -- financial rating, amount, duration, interest rates, costs -- then it will still be months before those bonds are sold on Wall Street. At a special meeting in November it was said that the first bonds will likely be issued in the Summer (July) of 2017. That is nearly 3 years since the urgent passage of this bond referendum.
Most of the work pertaining to the development of these bond related projects are happening behind the scenes. The projects seem to be the collaboration of the City's executive staff and the project development firm they have hired (Edit: Freese and Nichols is the consulting group that is working in conjunction with city executives) -- Frazier Associates of Staunton, Virginia. Frazier Associates also was hired in the past to design logos for the 2009 wayfinding proposal that hasn't been implemented yet, either. The Bond Commission basically has no role in these projects other than to smile and nod their heads, maybe sprinkled in with a few audible ooohs and aaahs. All decisions have already been made and are awaiting the ink to dry from the rubber stamp. We'll see about this assessment moving forward into 2016.
We had an election this year, but it seems like most people didn't know it or care. There was only one contested race, brought about when Alderman Bruce Meisner stepped away after 32 years on Council. Vernon Tarlton was Alderman Meisner's handpicked candidate to replace himself and he won by the Club's usual 2 to 1 margin.
In 2012, the Ward Specific Voting Referendum failed by a very narrow margin and the race was very contentious. This was followed by a municipal election (2013) that was very vitriolic. The election that took place in 2015 very much resembled the election that took place in 2009, when Harry Hipps ran against Jill Patton and Hank Guess ran against Z. Anne Hoyle. The Club had already decided who they wanted and the local media tamped down any curiosity related to issues or democracy.
Many people are not happy with the direction of this community. I hear it all the time out in the public, but no one takes action. You don't hear it conveyed by the local media in anything other than a superfluous manner. As a matter of opinion, it seems that the local media is more interested in representing the local government than the people. The local media seems to be partners with the local governmental establishment.
In the past few weeks it was announced that Corning would be moving its Fiberoptic management operations to northwest Charlotte. The new local reporter went to the local figureheads and asked for their opinion on the move. They gave some strange answers, such as, 'We lost Corning, because of Charlotte's airport.' Huh? Hickory's airport is a mile away and wide open. Corning (and Siecor before) never had a problem utilizing Hickory's airport in the past.
We were also told about the #Corningproud initiative, which the local new reporter on the scene stated had been going on for 4 months. That initiative began back in March and we knew about this situation since October of last year. It seems that the heavy turnover of reporters and editors at the Hickory Daily Record is taking a heavy toll on the continuity of relevant news stories and issues facing the community.
What I take from the #Corningproud initiative is a question that begs to be asked... "When there is any economic development effort in Hickory, why is it always done in secret?"
The people of the community are always left in the dark. Give us something tangible. Tell us what you are working on. Tell us about the vision. If such a public effort as Hashtag-Corning is such an important tool utilized to retain a local business, then why isn't it just as important to make a similar effort to attract businesses?
Here's one plain and simple fact. In the beginning we were told that retaining Corning in its present location was important, because that was a gateway into the city and if that building is sitting empty, then that is going to look bad. It wasn't only about the loss of jobs, but also about having another big building sitting empty along the Highway 321 corridor. Well, in the past few weeks the story evolved into "the City" and Catawba County Economic Development Corporation were actively searching for locations to build a new building and infrastructure to keep Corning in the area -- oh and they were going to give them all kinds of tax breaks to boot. I guess that empty building on the Highway 321 corridor isn't so bad after all... but we know it is.
The deal is that when the former President of that division passed away a year and a half ago, then we lost all direct ties between Corning Management and Hickory. The Management of this Corning division (Fiberoptics) mostly lives in nice sections of Charlotte and like the amenities of Charlotte. If there is something that needs to be learned here, it is that we need to lose the idea of being separate from Charlotte. We need to connect Hickory to Charlotte in as many ways as possible.
One also needs to look at the type of people that Corning is hiring. These are young, bright, and active people, sort of like the opposite of what Hickory has become. Let's look at the ages of those serving on the Hickory City Council. What would the average be? 65? What have they represented? Who have they represented? What have their actions been? Who have they tried to attract?
When it comes to the local paper, since 2008, I believe we have seen 5+ City government beat writers and 3 editors (plus an interim) at the local paper. It seems like these reporters and editors believe that the history of Hickory began when they entered the city limits and no one is doing research, asking questions, or checking with the reporter they replaced. The reporting has been sloppy and what we get seems to be a stepping stone along a career path to a bigger and brighter community.
I've been told by people that "Letters to the Editor" are being suppressed and other stories have been suppressed. That could only come under the direction of the person running the paper. Most of the articles we have seen lately are essentially public relations pieces provided by Hickory Inc.'s communications department and the other local Powers That Be in the community. We never have a reporter asking an independent question and Hickory Inc. always gets the final word. I'm not telling you what to do, but I'd just wait until the City Snippets come out with your water bill.
Here is one simple and innocuous question that begs to be asked of each and every City Council member and the Mayor, "How does Hickory look different due to your influence during your tenure?"
Surely they could give us that.
There has been no economic recovery since the recession began in 2008, when the housing bubble fully burst in front of our eyes along with the stock market. The numbers reported by the government are a slight of hand.
Everything depends on how one looks at the economy and what level they are looking at it from. If I have a million bucks in the bank, I'm looking at the economy completely differently than someone who is working a couple jobs and living paycheck to paycheck. If I have a $75,000 or $100,000 government job, then I think the government is wonderful; or at least as close to wonderful as it can be, when I don't have to deal with the peons. If the government is utilizing my services or buying my product, then I'm a lot less likely to criticize da Gubment.
Then there are those of us that look at the issues from a realistic perspective. Ut oh, we're the ones who are labeled as "negative". Look at the labor force participation rate percentage, which continues shrink. That is the real indicator of unemployment. Economists, like John Williams of Shadowstats show that we have a real unemployment rate of over 20% nationally, which is worse here. This would be an apples to apples comparison with what happened in the Great Depression.
This is the first "Economic Recovery" in the history of our nation in which the labor force participation rate has fallen. In a real economic recovery, people reenter the labor force and the participation rate rises. Any claimed recovery has been admittedly weak, when described by the U.S. Politburo.
The government has told us that there is no inflation, and it is true that gasoline prices have been in a steep deflationary cycle, but what about the grocery store. Have you been forced to change your purchasing habits? Are you being more creative at the family table to stretch your dollars? The price of petroleum might be down, but I haven't seen that correlate with the electric bill. Families are stretching budgets when it comes to a lot of what are deemed to be necessities.
Early holiday sales for 2015 have been a bust, down 10% from a year ago. It's called Black Friday, because this is when Retail stores usually go into the black for the year. Christmas sales are usually the make or break time of year for restaurant and retail establishments.` Consumers have seen no real income growth for years. Without income growth, personal credit cannot expand. People are strapped and/or tapped out, so it is hard to spend money at the microeconomic level for your average person/family.
A recent Federal Reserve report showed that around 50% of 25 year olds are living at home with their parents or grandparents. We have Boomer aged people in leadership positions telling us what your average Millennial generation young adult wants out of life. These people don't have a clue about what they are talking about. They are telling us this from a position of wealth, having worked 40+ years, owning their dwelling, with money in the financial markets.
Your average Millennial wants a lot of what the older generations want, but they can't have it, because the current state of the economy isn't going to support it. It's hard to buy a house, when the average hospitality/restaurant/retail job isn't going to support savings and investment. Many of the college educated young people are strapped, because of student loans that eat into any earnings they have, especially when there isn't a job related to their field of study. This poor generation is going to have a hard time affording marriage, forming a household, and progressing towards an independent existence.` If the older generations had a clue, they would want the younger generations to succeed and they would be mentoring them about Life Growth.
Government Incorporated doesn't really seem to care about a true assessment of the real economy. They seem to believe that it is their job to justify the current state of the economy. And so we get the reasoning behind changing how inflation and unemployment are monitored, because these are the real indicators of economic reality along with per capita income, wealth distribution, and the number of people needing economic assistance.
The current state of the government is just a mechanism, a tool, used to loot the people. The public trust is just a bank utilized to enhance the individual wealth of those who have access. Various special interests work to get certain people elected who will grant them access to the public trust. Essentially government access is for sell.
Conventional Propaganda says that we are, and have been, in an economic recovery. Even if it hasn't been at the pace we hoped for, we're working on it. Look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average up near 18,000 and the Standard and Poor's 500 over 2,000. By God, Happy days are here again.
I like what Harry Dent says, when he talks about his indicators are to study people, not the government. "Government's just react," Dent says. They reacted late during the last recession. Here in Hickory, they were late in admitting we had problems in 2001 and 2008. Our economy has been worse than the average ever since, when all throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, we were better than the average, because of our manufacturing base.
The Powers That Be weren't proactive towards economic evolution. Many worked towards limiting competition and controlling the marketplace. We are still seeing this now after a lost economic decade.
Good for the Goose and the Gander
I had an internet conversation with an acquaintance a couple months ago. Seems this person was upset because a property owner/shop owner allowed a person, who works for him, to keep their job, who had expressed diametrically opposite political viewpoints from her own. For God sakes, she supported the heritage of the Confederate Flag. Let's crucify her.
So this became the catalyst for this person going on a rant about this property owner charging exorbitant rents, not maintaining their properties, and forcing out long time tenants. And this person went as far as to call for a boycott of Union Square.
Some of the former shop owners and patrons lauded the courage for this person standing up to this Union Square property owner. When I pointed out that these same people had never shown appreciation, and even chastised me, for utilizing my god given right to discuss the issues of Union Square, they said it was different, because I was being negative.
My issues with Union Square have nothing to do with Confederate Flags or Rainbow Flags. My issues have to do with Hickory Inc. enhancing Union Square to the tune of millions of dollars, with little to no economic return for the taxpayer -- the investing body. I have nothing against Union Square property owners, shop owners, or their patrons, but I don't think it is the responsibility of the taxpayers (the investing party) to enhance the area for those people. They certainly aren't creating such a mechanism for other business owners in other parts of the City. It doesn't seem fair to me.
In this conversation, it was basically insinuated that I could be a comrade in arms. Seemed that it related to a notion of, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." I don't participate is such practices, but I have witnessed many such plans of action in Hickory in the past. It's petty and it needs to stop.
Stop with the personality politics. Stop with the personal issue politics. One person had it right, when they joined the conversation to say, "The people of Hickory are choking on their own hypocrisy - and don't even know it!"
I've got no problem with people calling it like they see it, even if I don't agree with them. It helps me think. I get tired of the old pretense being pulled out by people who want to always maintain the status quo and the narrative of the power structure by labeling a person who expresses themselves in a different manner than the norm as "you are being negative." That's always the Joker card dealt from an exhausted deck, when nothing else works. It seems to be the favorite expression of cult followers.
The deal is that people in Hickory aren't annoyed by people being negative. They don't like people who tell the truth -- or go against "the narrative."
Sense of Urgency
We recently saw the Federal Reserve raise the target intrabank transfer interest rate by .25% from 0% to .25% to .25% to .5%. This raising of the rates was psychological. This should have been done a long time ago. The Fed stated that they raised the target intrabank rate by .25%, because U-3 unemployment has fallen to 5%, but as I have already shown you, the real unemployment rate is not 5%. Years ago 5% was looked at as full employment. Back in January 2008, when all of this began, the National U-3 unemployment rate was 5% and went to 9.9% by November 2009 and now we are supposedly back to 5%, but even when one looks at unemployment numbers, they must understand that any jobs related numbers are a lagging indicator. Companies hire and lay off their work force after they assess the numbers.
When one looks towards other economic indicators, they see a sputtering, if not a faltering, economy. These other indicators point towards what will be an undeniable recession, which is essentially the next leg down in a long term depression. Retail sales and manufacturing indices are down. Raw material inputs, materials needed for building goods, are in a depression. Copper is way down in Value. Steel is way down in value. The price of petroleum has fallen, because of the lack of demand. There is a glut of raw materials on the market. There has been a buildup of wholesale goods. Those are indicators of a soon to follow slow down.
Janet Yellen, the Chair of the Federal Reserve talked about raising the target intrabank interest rate by another 1% throughout 2016. I just don't see this happening, because you can't raise interest rates during a recession without it having a negative multiplier effect on the economy. Also, there isn't a one-to-one effect when the Fed raises the intrabank rate in relation to banks raising the Prime Lending Rate. The effect means that rates rise exponentially as risks rise on loan paybacks/defaults.
We have seen three major bubbles in the economy from the late 90s up until now and our area has found a way to participate fully in each one of them. The 1990s saw the rise of the internet and many start-up companies and industries came into existence during that era. There were a lot of issues related to accounting fraud, such as we saw with the ENRON and other scandals. In 2000, the stock market plunged, especially in the tech sector and start-ups. The Hickory area was hurt because of the heavy investment in the fiberoptic industry. There were many people who were earning good money and living accordingly. Over the next several years the local economy stalled to a great degree, while the rest of the country recovered. Many of the local issues had to do with the hindrance of International trade agreements and a lack of a sense of urgency to look towards the horizon and adapt.
The next bubble was the real estate bubble. We did see some issues related to real estate, but not to the extent of some other areas, because our local economy hadn't overheated like some of the major metropolitan areas had. Once again we saw this caused by the financial sector. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to fuel economic velocity. The government created policies and objectives to move the public towards home ownership. Banks wanted higher prices and with their governmental partnership, they had carte blanche to qualify anyone with a heartbeat for a loan, because it meant higher fees leading to short term higher profits. Appraisers, working in partnership with the banks, over appraised the values of homes in the supercharged environment. Real Estate professionals wanted those prices to be higher, because that meant higher commissions. It was all a marriage made in Hell that led up to the Panic of 2008.
Our issues related to the 2008 crash mostly centered around the slowing overall economy. Manufacturing companies sought to reduce inventory in the face of the shrinking economy. They sought lower labor costs and a more flexible workforce. Fewer houses sold meant less new furniture needed and emerging economic markets (China, India, etc.) were not concerned with the trappings of wealth like the United States is. Essentially the perfect economic storm had caused the local economy to come unhinged.
We are currently in, my opinion, a Money/Credit bubble. We are going into the 7th year of near zero percent interest rate and money printing (Quantitative Easing) environment.
Six firms— Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Netflix Inc. and Gilead Sciences Inc. —now account for more than half of the $664 billion in value added this year to the Nasdaq Composite Index, according to data compiled by brokerage firm Jones Trading... The concentrated gains are spurring concerns that soft trading in much of the market could presage a pullback in the indexes. Many investors see echoes of prior market tops—including the 2007 peak and the late 1990s frenzy—when fewer and fewer stocks lifted the broader market. The S&P 500 is up 1% this year while the Nasdaq has gained 7.4%. (Wall Street Journal - July 26, 2015).
Look at upscale retailers, like you will find in the local malls, they are hurting badly. Look at their stock prices. These companies used to be the cornerstone of growth in the economy. They no longer are. WalMart is even hurting and has geared itself down to developing more grocery stores and they are looking into developing convenience stores. Instead of companies looking to step up most seem to be envious of the companies a level lower than their own.
What people can take to the bank, is that when this economic bubble breaks and the markets crash, the stock market will plunge. That is what happened in 1929, 1987, 2000, and 2008. The Federal Reserve and television talking heads said the economy was fine and ridiculed anyone who said there were choppy waters ahead. Then these same folks go into doom and gloom mode as soon as it happens, "What happened my friend?" That is what really creates the panic.
Artificial stimulus can't work forever. It's like we've all been told about 'sumpin for nuttin.' Only shysters and confidence men push that version of an acceptable economic reality. The debt burdens that we face are untenable and the dollar is worth about 2¢ compared to what it was worth in 1913.
You know this is right when you look at a Gold double eagle coin, which was valued at $20 back then. That was 9/10ths of an ounce of Gold valued at $20 and now that coin is worth a minimum of $1,000 without accounting for its numismatic value. Think about that $100 in 1913 being the equivalent of $5,000 today. That $5,000 reward for Billy the Kid in 1881, would be the equivalent of $500,000 today.
The goal of the Powers That Be is going to be to inflate our way out of our debt. We are going to first go through a deflationary cycle, because the velocity of the economy has slowed due to aging demographics and our hands being tied by burdensome debt, but I believe that there will be some kind of new currency established and when the old money is exchanged for the new money, the multiplier will not be equal. It will be obvious that they have further devalued the currency.
That was what Roosevelt did in 1933 when he made it illegal for Americans to trade gold and in 1934 the Gold Reserve act was passed. The price per ounce of gold was controlled by the U.S. Treasury and they changed the price per ounce of gold from $20.67 per ounce to $35 per ounce. Essentially, Americans lost 70% of the purchasing power of their money in one fell swoop. This could be done with your bank accounts utilizing a bail-in mechanism. Cash held on person would have to be exchanged for the new currency and they may just decide to make the new monetary exchange digital. This would make it easier to tax you and for them to further control and manipulate the currency.
Here's the deal. The Marketplace has wanted to find equilibrium for years, but the government's finagling hasn't allowed that to happen. The main issue is debt, whether it be National, Corporate, or personal. It all is going to have to be restructured -- much of it written down or off. The economy is going to deleverage through deflation and it wanted to do that back in 2008-09. The government wouldn't allow this to happen and has micromanaged the economy into knots to serve the interests of the special interest groups and mega-corporations. The market is like flowing water. It is going to find an avenue of dispersal. When you tie the market up over here, then it will build up pressure until it breaks through over there. The less the Powers That Be try to control the economy, the better the economy will perform.
Economic Analyst/Investor Harry Dent bases his economic trends research on cycles. He says that the Baby Boomer generation peaked in their spending habits back in 2007, when the end of that generation turned 46 years old. We are currently going through many of the same cycles the country experienced back in the late 1920s and 1930s.
Mr. Dent also talks about the affluent sector. The top 20% of wealth in the United States, controls over 50% of aggregate income and spending. They don't peak in their spending habits until age 54 on average and that coincides with this year 2015. As the affluent sector of the economy pulls back on their consumption, then it is going to cause the economy to slow drastically and it will be worse as we move forward.
Internationally, the world population is aging. Some countries are worse than the United States. Japan has already aged dramatically . It is a major reason why their economy has stalled over the past 25 years. We have seen the negative effects this has had on Japan's younger generation. When one looks at the predicament of the United States Millennials, then one only needs to look towards Japan and their experience as an example.
What needs to happen is that we need to encourage young people to get on the road towards creating wealth and towards becoming nest builders. The older generations aren't spending money and they are draining government resources... and the younger generations cannot afford the upkeep that the Boomers expect. The Boomers think they are owed something, when the money has already been spent. The younger generations don't owe them anything. Their deal is with the government. The government that they created.
We are seeing a continued struggle in home values, because the 20 and 30 year olds are having a hard time buying homes. It's hard, under present economic circumstances, for young people to cobble together a living. The older people fuss about the younger generations aimless lives of drugs and video games, but where is the foundation for them to work with???
Frankly, I have a lot of information that I can provide, but I have grown tired of spending the time that it takes to relate that information. Labor on top of this blog has been draining me to the point that it has zapped my energy and made me sick and tired for a good deal of the year and I haven't been able to get my second wind back. I thought I would, but it just hasn't happened.
I have a house I need to work on and a life I need to work on. In 2011 and 2014, I lost two great influences on my life. My grandmothers lived long and fruitful lives and I couldn't expect them to live forever, but I miss them very much. I'm at the point where most of the people that I grew up knowing are gone and I was a failure at relationships and never had kids of my own, but that's just the way it goes. One grows weary of failures. I'm just letting you know that I'm not locking myself into this drama, because while it may be interesting, it will never be over. It will be over for me someday soon, but it will never be over.
The realities are stark. We have been facing a crisis for years. This isn't a time to willy-nilly be throwing money around. It is a time when we need to take stock of our current assets, restructure, repair, and maintain what we already have. During the deflationary cycle, bubbles will burst, prices will fall, and debt can and should be written down(off) so that we can get leaner and be able to put ourselves in a position to grow again.
I think that I have been pretty consistent in my philosophy. This is what I have tried to relate to people. Let's make investments that have a payoff. Let's work to get people healthy, because it will reduce burdensome healthcare costs. I think investments to get people outside and active are good investments. I think that investments to allow people to eat healthier and understand that what they eat plays a role in their health are good investments. I have seen Hickory make investments in these areas and this is where they are getting it a lot more right than wrong.
But like I told a friend, we don't need to pump more money into the government, because we have seen that the government is on many levels corrupt. Pumping more money into corruption only leads to more corruption. I think that was what the 2010 Tea Party movement was all about. After Obamacare was rammed down our throats, people wanted to see checks and balances brought back to the system, unfortunately that hasn't happened. Unfortunately, the current state of political affairs in the country is Bipolar.
The World Wrestling Federation faction of the Democrat party gets all worked up about the Tea Party. I appreciated the Tea Party movement until it was usurped by the Dixiecrat faction of the Republican Party. These people aren't in favor of limited government. They are in favor of micromanaging your personal lives under some kind of factionalized lifestyle that I really don't think they have thought through. It certainly doesn't represent Ronald Reagan or the founding fathers. It's some kind of perverted religious class system where they pick and choose the moral code and template. That isn't freedom my friends.
Seven long years ago, my friend Harry Hipps wrote a piece related to the old John Adams' quote, "A Nation of Laws and not of men."
Every day governments at every level make and change laws and statutes -- conditions change, ideas change, and/or circumstances change. God blessed America with the wisdom of the extraordinary men that created this exceptional country. Our Founding Fathers set us up with a constitutional framework dedicated to freedom from tyranny. Once we start to ignore our principles and ramrod things through by treating one person one way and someone else differently, then we are on the path to chaos.
Once this happens, we will see oppression of weaker, less powerful citizens by the richer, more connected ones; we will have mob rule; or both. We are seeing this happen almost routinely by the federal government and I fear we may be seeing this happen locally.
That was before the financial crisis took hold and look what we have seen since. There is a great divide amongst the wealthy, the middle class, and the poor. That chasm widens every day. Basically a few hundred people are running this country, dozens run North Carolina, and a handful control the direction of Hickory. You and I don't count to these people. We are fodder for their schemes.
We need some heroes. It can't be one man and it most certainly isn't me. I've seen a good friend arrested on trumped up charges. Another friend was arrested for demanding information she was entitled to. Another friend has been arrested and gone to the brink of being arrested for standing up for the poor people in this community. Another friend's life has been turned upside down because he had the audacity to attempt to change the power structure here... and another friend threw his hands up in the air and walked away because he said it was a lost cause. One guy I thought was on our side pulled a complete Benedict Arnold. I hope one day it turns out to be a Lando Calrissian, but folks it certainly looks like a Benedict Arnold from here.
A few years ago these people were standing beside me and we were making some real progress. We have made some progress, but it's never enough. There are people that cheered us on and egged us on, but they were fearful of getting involved, because they saw what has happened to people who have gotten involved on the wrong side of the club in the past.
How many times have I told you what was going to happen only to be labeled a conspiracy theorist and then months later it turns out that I nailed it? And then there are the people that told me that they supported what I was doing, only to turn around and in the end support the local power structure. I stuck my neck out on the line several times. I spent countless hours being pretty damned specific on the issues and then these people with blind faith do the opposite of what I suggest. Then what I say happens and the local power structure does what they always intended to do and people seem dazed and wondering, "What Happened?"
You really can't do much with that and so I must tell you that the Hickory Hound will have to evolve and at some point in time I may bail out of Hickory. I still care, but the vast majority of people in this community don't. As we enter 2016, I must say Que sera, sera... Whatever will be, will be... The future's not ours to see... Que sera, sera... What will be, will be.
Happy New Year and may God Bless even those that get on our nerves.
The State of Hickory 2014
The State of Hickory 2013
The State of Hickory 2012
The State of Hickory 2011
The State of Hickory 2010
The State of Hickory 2009