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Stop and Realize What's Coming

The surrounding area, now a shopping center known as Hopkins Park Plaza, used to be called Hayden’s Corner and Paul’s Market.  Mattingly was one of the few farmers in St. Mary’s who would not accept the tobacco buyout program.  Still, he is not unaware of his surroundings.

            You see who’s buying the land now, don’t you?  Millionaires.  No farmer can buy it. You take this farm down here, it’s been sold, Christ, twenty times.  The man that owned it when I was a boy got $60,000 for it.  He paid $3,200 for it, he got $60,000 for it.  They automatically turned around and sold it [to a man who] kept all the woodland up on the hill and just sold this strip right down the side of the road.  He got $250,000.  In one year.

            I heard that McDonald’s down there paid $400,000 for that acre of land where that building is.  Now, if that’s so, I don’t know.  That’s just hearsay.  But I’ve seen tobacco growing right where McDonald’s is and all through that shopping center.  I’ve seen tobacco in every bit of that land.  That man worked seventeen, eighteen acres of tobacco there every year, and he grew nice tobacco, too.  I’ve see that whole field in tobacco, right on down to State Garage.

            I really believe we’ll have the day when somebody’s going to be hungry.  The watermen are crying they can’t make it.  The seafood industry is going to go because there’s too many dipping into it and nothing’s coming back.  When you go out here and you catch female crabs, what are you doing?  You’re going to stop your population, aren’t you?  And what’s going to happen then?

            It’s just like farming.  If you keep bleeding me down, I can’t make anything.  What’s going to happen?  Aren’t I going to stop growing?  Then what?  Then you, on the outside working on a job, are you going to have to give me welfare to take care of me?  That’s what’s coming.  They’re driving us into the ground.  There’s not many around who will tell you this, but you can see it…

            That blacktop road out there will not grown corn, and the problem is that there’s so much land being taken to blacktop.  It won’t make a crop.  And your land is dwindling.  They’re going to make cars tomorrow, new cars, and they’re going to make new tractors tomorrow, and they’re going to build new houses.  But one thing they’re not going to do is, they’re not going to make more land.  Just stop and real

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