Brownsburg Little League Baseball Pushed Aside For “New Downtown Revitalization”

brownsburg-little-league-baseball-world-series-allstar-team-1999

Before 1999, few outside our neighboring towns would know much about Brownsburg, Indiana. It was a small town with a small town feel, close enough to Indianapolis, but far enough away to not feel trapped in a city. Outsiders would often ask, “Brownsburg…where’s that?” when you told them where you were from. But in the summer of 1999, a Little League Baseball All-Star Team, which included myself, changed that.

It’s ironic (or rather disgusting) that the Brownsburg Town Council has ignored the very place and people that gave them a good chunk of the means for a nearly 100-million-dollar project to begin with.

I am not insinuating that there haven’t been other factors at play over the years that have contributed to Brownsburg’s growth. A key fact remains, however, that the initial surge over the last 18 years was largely due to our team playing on national television, filling the Indianapolis Star with our successes, and was once again revisited two years later when a second team from Brownsburg went to the Little League World Series – all advertisement for the town.

Brownsburg soon became a hot spot for young families who wanted their children to grow up in an area with so much success surrounding our Little League and baseball programs in general. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Brownsburg’s population increased from 12,513 in July of 1999 to 15,086 by July of 2000, an increase of 17% – the largest by far in a single year from 1990-2016.

Hearing that a crucial part of my childhood was going to be torn down – a place where a group of 13 kids worked their hearts out practicing day after day drenched in sweat beneath the summer heat for a vision and goal that seemed so out of our league – caused quite a bit of anger, stirred past memories awake again, and also brought back joy, remembering what we accomplished and how much fun we had doing so.

All places go through change and some changes are harder than others to swallow. There’s nothing wrong with vision, there’s nothing wrong with progress, and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. We created a lofty goal for ourselves starting from the first practice…we were going to make it to the Little League World Series. We aimed much higher than I think anyone in the community, our coaches, or even our parents truly believed we’d achieve. Yet, we saw our goal turn to reality by the end of that summer. But in the process we never forgot who we were. We never forgot where we came from. We never tried to be something we weren’t. We weren’t trying to be Avon, Carmel, Fishers, Zionsville, or anyone else but who we were. We were Brownsburg Little League All-Stars, and that’s all that mattered.

The loss of baseball fields is not the key issue here. Of course I hate to see them go, but if it had to be done, so be it. The real issue is how it was done and that this entire “revitalization project” reeks of money. It’s repugnant with the fumes of phoniness – a town acting like a immature high school kid trying to fit in and be “cool” like all the other towns. My anger burns because it seems a select few want to sweep who we are as a town, where we came from, and all of our history under a rug, in order to start over, without any real feedback from the community.

This is the 21st century. A Town Board meeting is not the place to ask permission of the community to initiate drastic changes to a town. Few people have the time to put their busy life on hold in order to sit through a meeting where they feel little power to change anything anyways. But it’s much easier to enact controversial change without truly getting the opinion of the people. A board meeting gives them an excuse for their actions without fear of their decisions being challenged by the entire community. Conveniently, by the time word spreads and the true nature of what the change means reaches the masses, it’s already too late to stop it.

I hope to be proven wrong, but the only thing that seems clear from the vague diagrams and plans is money. Vision requires risk, but it also doesn’t jump out on a limb with nothing to catch it if it falls. Housing. More Housing. Development. More development…with no place to hold it all. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this town wasn’t built to be a major traffic center. State Road 267 is pushing its limits as it is. But more development means more revenue and tax dollars, which means more cash flow. So who cares about the long-term consequences…

Here’s a thought: How about we fix the current problems before we add more? How about we come up with real strategies and real solutions to deal with our current issues…like how the hell are you going to build this type of development in an area that is bumper to bumper traffic everyday as it is? How about we stop wasting tax payer money on things that are a complete waste of resources and are only for show? How about finding a good solution to where our children are going to play baseball before you tear down the field? Better yet, HOW ABOUT YOU HAVE A SOUND PLAN BEFORE YOU START CONSTRUCTION?

The town of Brownsburg vaguely even resembles the place I grew up. There have been some improvements, but at a high cost. Too often I’ve seen long-term consequences ignored for the sake of short-term gains. When you let the flood gates down and let anyone and everyone move in a town without first determining whether it is realistically capable of handling that capacity and growth, you have a serious flaw in leadership.

As of 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau cites that Brownsburg had 25,408 residents compared to 16,960 residents in Avon. Wow…and you wonder why we have traffic problems. US 36 is able to handle Avon’s numbers; 267 is not able to handle ours. And never will be. That is unless you knock down the entire town and rebuild it, which seems like what they’d have it mind given the opportunity.

Time and time again, you see lack of vision and lack of leadership. I have a hard time believing the people elected to serve us are this incompetent and lack any insight on future consequences. I sure hope so, because the only alternative is that they are knowingly putting aside our interests for money and more income from tax dollars.

I wish I was only sad to see a historical place in the town go, but I’m not. I’m angry and left with a bitter taste in my mouth. The Brownsburg Little League baseball diamonds are just another bead on a long string of decisions made by this town that all share a consistent theme – short-term gains for long-term pains.

Change must always precede progress. But change without respect and honor for principle and history isn’t progress.; it’s chaos. Without a firm foundation to build upon, change has nowhere to stand.

 

-Written by Justin Farley, member of the 1999 Brownsburg Little League All-Star Team and 1999 Little League Baseball World Series Finalist

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Sailor – A Poem

4850827784_20faa1ea83

The Sailor – A Poem

You’ve sent me off as an aimless navigator
Traveling upon treacherous and torrential seas.
Once was a proud and confident sailor,
But now find there’s no compass I can read.

Needles spin with the wind and poles have no meaning
When they are altered by my heart’s magnetic field.
And upon this ship it’s no easy sailing
With a split and swollen keel.

These waves that come rolling in
Only reaffirm and remind me of what rolled out with the tide.
Everyday the heat beats down on scorched, sunburnt skin
And drifting upon the open sea there’s nowhere to hide.

I do not accept my demise
And have not given up casting out my nets.
But I can’t help hungering for my past prize
When salty, quenchless water is all I seem to catch.

At least if I was shipwrecked
There’d be land where I could lay my head to rest,
But as it is I have trekked
Across endless waves and seen nothing but deep, blue nothingness.

You sent me off as an aimless navigator,
Charting waters without a course.
There are no maps for the heart-broken sailor
When the only land I know how to seek is yours.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: nice sea waves 2 via photopin (license)

The Clouds of Mourning – A Poem About Depression and Pain

11746799814_45e7dbdfba

As we go through life, there are inevitable seasons where it seems the skies are always cloudy, always raining, and the forecast will never change. Anyone that has ever dealt with depression (or any mental illness for that matter) knows that it is like a ghost that haunts you no matter where you go or how hard you try to hide from it. Fight all you want, but you can never defeat the forces of darkness with strength alone. In these times of darkness and pain, how do we keep moving forward? How do we resist the temptation to give up and let the pain of life suck everything from our soul?

Typically, telling yourself to “cheer up”, “suck it up”, “pick yourself up”, or having someone else tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself only makes matters worse, and I believe does a disservice to our heart. Deep depression is not an easy thing to fix, and the reality is that sometimes there are circumstances in our lives where the only appropriate response is to mourn and cry. And sometimes we need that time to just embrace the issue and recognize that it is ok to feel pain. But how do we not drown in that pain?

I believe the only way we can move forward is by grasping hope and refusing to let go. It might not get better today, it might not be tomorrow, but as long as there is hope that things will get better, the ghosts of depression are unable to penetrate our locked doors and totally possess us.

The Clouds of Mourning – A Poem About Depression and Pain

The clouds of mourning
Hang and hover over me
Like ghosts – translucent,
Yet allowing only darkness to pass through.
Their pale gray sheets flap and flutter
In the breezes of life,
Dimming and drowning out
All traces of light.
Their wails send nails
Falling from the sky,
Raining down and driving like hammers;
Pounding their melancholic clamors into my heart.

My palette is stained,
Soaked in ashen gray paint.
Non-washable, permanent and persistent;
Resistant to the colors I attempt to cover with my brush.
The clouds of mourning
Flood my skies like ghastly Dementors,
Following me through the hours
And sucking at my soul one minute at a time.

Sweet angels,
Have you lost the fight to the terrors?
Have your hallowed halos burnt out like smoking embers
And lost their luster and glow?
Where are you hiding
In this dark and stormy night?
Where are your shields and swords,
Why are you overwhelmed by the demons of darkness,
Why do you refuse to fight?

What weapons do I pick up
To fend off forces invisible and invincible?
Is there an amulet I can hang over my heart to keep out
The ghouls that pass uninhibited through locked doors?
The icy rain covers my window pane
In sheets of tears running down in streams of solitude.
Winter’s wrath bars my path
And leaves me shivering in the cold wondering what to do.
The clouds of mourning
Hang and hover over me
Like ghosts – translucent,
But hope shall be my exorcism.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


 

photo credit: Titanic via photopin (license)

Unconditionally – A Poem About Hard Love

11674077525_a9d66fd41d

Unconditionally
A Poem About Hard Love

Perhaps we have been prepared to believe that love is meant to be easy.
Perhaps we have been convinced we can enjoy the spoils of war without a fight.
But true love suffers freely, merely for a chance to behold the light.

Perhaps we believe that we can reach foreign destinations
Without walking love’s long and lonesome road.
Perhaps it’s flawed expectations that leaves us shaking and breaking in the cold.

Love never walks simply for its own benefit,
But walks tiresome miles just to ease another heart.
Love never quits and departs, the second its season becomes strained and hard.

So when you ask me why I wait, why I wish to bear your weight and do so patiently?
It’s because the love I hold for you does not break,
The love I hold for you loves unconditionally.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: Two Thousand Years via photopin (license)

The Mummy in the Museum FREE EBOOK – A Children’s Adventure Short Story About Egypt and Pyramids

the mummy in the museum ebook - a children's short story about mummies, adventure, Egypt, and pyramids by Justin FarleyI am running a one day promotion today for my children’s short story, “The Mummy in the Museum”, for free on Amazon. After today, it will be $.99. I would greatly appreciate you downloading it for free and leaving me any feedback. I would describe it as an adventure / scary fiction short story that centers around Egyptians, mummies, pyramids, and the power of mystery and imagination inside museums. “An adventure of a 9 year old child on a school field trip to their local history museum to visit the new Egyptian exhibit. Trouble strikes when the exhibit turns into a real pyramid with an ancient danger…” find the story HERE

91Eh2zvyTKL._SL1500_

When a unusual storm hits the Utopian town of Nod, the forces of evil are released and allow an unthinkable tragedy.” 

The story can be found here.

My second story, “The Christmas Gift” is also available in the Kindle Store for just $.99.

“A depressed man – who has long given up on his dream to become a writer and now holds a high paying, corporate job – gets reintroduced to his childhood through extreme circumstances and finds his love for writing reawakened by a Christmas gift.”

81Ay84qij0L._SL1500_

 

“When mysterious neighbors move in next door in the middle of the night, Katherine and Josh are sure there’s something not quite right about them – no one has ever seen the81uK9uDzptL._SL1500_m and their garage door is always shut. Josh decides to take matters into his own hands one day and attempts to investigate the house next door. Josh and his sister find out the answers to their questions, but it’s worse than they ever imagined…”

“What’s Brewing Next Door?” can be found here.

You may also be interested in my other short stories. 

I’d appreciate any comments, feedback, or reviews. Thanks!

The Leaves of Autumn (I’ll Remember You) – A Love Poem

fireflies / lightning bugs over a meadow at night

The Leaves of Autumn (I’ll Remember You) – A Love Poem

When the fireflies bring their dances to a close over the meadow
And the leaves of autumn change their hue,
I will look out my window, love,
And I’ll remember you.

That twinkle in your eyes
Will bring a smile to my face,
But sadly my memories won’t stop there –
I’ll long for your taste,
They’ll find their way to my heart,
And the floodgates will break.

My tears will be the only evidence you still exist,
Smothered by the weight of it all,
And the remembrance of love’s kiss,
I’ll try to find a way to see through the mist –
These cataracts that love has stained upon my eyes.

But how am I to live without your light –
That bright, blinking beacon
Leading me through the mire of my own night?
I’m capable of fighting my own fights,
But I have no desire to…
Not now.
Now when the only affirmation of victory
Is the echo of my own voice.
All dreams are for naught
If they don’t include you.
For you were the one who breathed them into being,
You were the water that took a withered seedling
And made it stand up tall and proud.
So who am I to boast to now, love
Now that you’re not around?

These blooms are fading.
I can feel them shrinking back
Into the dark nothingness from which they came.
I’ve tried to feed them myself,
But they only respond to your name.

I can look up into the heavens
And count the multitude of diamonds glistening,
Ready to be plucked from the sky.
But there is only one jewel I desire,
And it resides within the twinkle of your eye.

So I’ll continue looking out my window,
Enclosed in the tomb of my own misery
And try to choose a memory
That brings your precious light
As close as it can to the solitude of my darkness.

When the fireflies bring their dances to a close over the meadow
And the leaves of autumn change their hue,
I will look out my window, love,
And I’ll remember you.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: lucciole in una tranquilla sera di inizio giugno via photopin (license)

Wandering – A Christian Poem About Guilt

13863693704_798443a950

Your commandments loom over me,
Blinding my eyes like a bright light in the midst of darkness.
It hurts my eyes and causes me to turn away
From the angelic presence of your glory.
Isn’t this the essence of the human story,
Locked in a constant battle with our foolish hearts
Year after year choosing to remain chained,
Restrained in the bonds of slavery?

But what is this desire that I should
Choose slavery, to remain under the cloud of your judgement
And continue serving the weak idols of my passions
Instead of an infinite God of unfathomable majesty and might?
Why do I consistently chose to fight against you,
Knowing I will lose?
Why do I fail to chose you even when I desire to do so?
How do I approach the Judge’s bench,
Knowing beyond all doubt that I am guilty?

But your mercy is as endless as beautiful fields of clover,
Covering my rebellious ways beneath blankets of green pastures.
For who among us is without the stain of guilt
That has been branded and tattooed upon our feeble hearts?
If there is no Law, if your ways are simply the creation of the human mind,
Why do I find that I am condemned and guilty
Beyond all reasonable doubt?
It is not simply the shame of hurting my fellow man
That stirs my restless heart to reason.
No. It is a primal instinct woven into the fabric of my being
To alert me when I walk paths away from you,
Allowing me to acknowledge that I am lost without your truth.

But you are a hound dog that never grows tired,
Steadfast, seeking me throughout the ever-changing seasons of my soul,
Loving me when I’m near you,
And loving me just the same when I’ve lost control
Of my sinful desires.
Your fire burns like a raging sun and is just as hot
Among the snows of winter as it is in the summer heat.
My love is your ultimate desire,
Not because you need me, but because you know without you
I will always be incomplete.

We mute our ears to your voice,
Eager to continue along our paths to destruction,
But even the proudest hearts fall to humility
In the presence of your might.
Lord, may your light shine ever bright
And lead us from the darkness of this night,
Which we have created by blocking out
The warming rays of your precious Son.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/

photo credit: Nice Sunset (HDR) via photopin (license)

Crash, Burn, and Devour

nicoleemerence

unnamed

Lost in your eyes is where I find myself,
Swimming in their auburn depths.
In their warmth, I want to drown myself,
For I know it would be the sweetest death.
Your touch is like a burning fire,
Leaving a smoldering path in its wake.
Every inch farther makes my heart sing higher,
Keep going, give me all I can take.
The feeling of your lips on mine,
Fuels the fire building inside of me.
Higher and higher, up the flames climb,
Until I’m burning in sweet ecstasy.
Skin against skin, we melt together,
Becoming a single entity.
In your arms I could fall forever,
In the process, I’m losing my identity.
Take all of me, take everything I am,
I want to lose myself in your touch.
I’m breathless at the touch of your hand,
I’m powerlessly held tight in your clutch.
Crashing against each other like a tidal…

View original post 48 more words

Free – A Love Poem About Being Yourself

16268075097_900212050c

Free – A Love Poem

Just when I thought I’d seen it all,
You burst onto the scene
And shattered my expectations within
An hour of your spirit’s introduction.
Since my first glance there has been no reduction,
No doubt that left me questioning my desire for you.
My passion is a steady rising –
A flood of love, lust, and delight
Ready to pour over the river banks.
Hear
Me
Now!
This is my warning.
There will be no half ways or test licks.
Your soul will be kissed from head to toe.
I do not want to test your waters,
But to dive in head first,
To be lovers and thirst for each other’s hearts,
To feast upon the passions and pains
That have remained hidden
In the deepest chambers of our spirits.
There will be no you’s and me’s
But only we’s –
Two broken human beings reforged and molded as one.
You are my sun –
The bright shinning light
That reveals the path before me,
The warm, cozy aura that covers my face.
I yearn to savor your taste,
To digest your very essence
One new revealing at a time.
You are a gift from the Divine,
A present far greater than my wildest dreams,
Leaving me wondering what I’ve done
To deserve you my queen.
Bend down and let me crown you.
Then allow me to kneel before you
And give you authority over my heart.
Take it. It was yours from the start.
I needed no waiting, no casual dating,
Your character was confirmed
By the thumping and jumping of my heart.
Entwine me in all your ways my love.
Hold nothing back.
All your desires, dreams, and demons
Are safe with me.
Love, for the first time in my life,
You make me feel free to be nothing but me.

-Poem Written By Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, love poems or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


photo credit: IMG_4140 via photopin (license)