Tragedies are commonplace, you hear about them often. And oftentimes we tend to think we're immune to them, but we're really not. Nobody is. They - the tragedies - are always there in the shadows, lurking. Just around the corner. Waiting. Almost Wanting.
Of course, the tragedies that beset some folks are more in the realm of the coincidental, incidental and/or accidental, and naturally those are the ones that tend to bother us the most, so when we see one such as the one we've recently seen here in the home city with a certain, late gentleman, it might not strike us to the core like some others, so therefore it's very easy to just block it out, sweep it under the rug, but it still affects us, and can have a heavy effect on our lives, and on our thoughts.
Our story begins with a man named George. A man who lived a life. He was raised up by his folks. Went to school. Moved to C-town & created a multi-multi-million dollar business. A business of what? Cloth. Rags, moreover, amalgamated textiles! Who'd've thought it?! He did. He built up his business, went national, and then international. It was something alright...
As for the man himself. He, too, was something.
Those brilliant, shimmering blue eyes. That easy going demeanor, and smile. To many, he came across as arrogant, conceited, maybe even. To me, even as a kid, he came across as something of a politician. But, he was always nice to me. Hell, I liked him...
Through the years, even recently, I always enjoyed running into him. The last time was a while back at the grocery store. He asked about my Mom with what seemed like a genuine sense of compassion. It meant a lot to me, it really did. I almost wrote one of my handwritten letters to thank him, but I never got around to it.
At some point years ago, something happened. He apparently...I don't know...quit giving a fuck? Quit paying his taxes, and - purportedly - it was All. THE. TAXES! Couldn't afford to do so, or maybe he just didn't want to?
Well, I've been there with both instances a time or two. Perhaps some of y'all have as well?
He'd been in the news a few times over the years locally about his alleged knack for not paying property taxes for several years to the tune of well north of a half a million dollars. Presumably, a Newton Co. Constitutional Officer resigned over it, though that's not the "official" narrative.
But then the news broke a few weeks ago about his issues w/ the US government, the IRS in particular, and...well, the rest as the say - was history.
Suicide is thought by many to be the ultimate act of selfishness. A total cop-out, and I'm not necessarily inclined to disagree with that sentiment, but people, I won't lie to you - when I first heard the news on Tuesday from one of the fellow ToNt0 Chiefs, my mind automatically & instantaneously turned to a Filter song from the mid 90's, it was an homage to Kurt Cobain.
And, really, that's where I'm still at.
He messed up, royally, it seems.
But what, he was gonna go bankrupt? Go to jail (if the reports were true that failure to pay withholding taxes already collected was one of the reasons why the IRS seized the assets of his company & changed the locks)?
Well, friends, I just don't think that was his style.
Regardless of anything else, the man lived a life. He worked hard, he did very well with his business, but then something happened. One would think he had a plan for it all, but apparently he didn't. He then did a thing that he thought was the only course of action, even if most of us find it abhorrent.
It's all so very sad, no doubt, but it doesn't cancel out an entire life. That life - his life - happened. It's there. And all of the millions of little - and big - things associated with it, predicated on it, incumbent upon it, as well as realized, experienced & lost due to it, doesn't change the reality of this situation. It can't. Because it happened, it is therefore so, for better or for worse.
You hate it for the folks left behind. The family, especially his sweet wife, and too the employees of his company, and for that matter, the taxpayers of the home county. But, it still doesn't change anything previously mentioned.
And that, to me, is the rub. That's the real story. Life's tough & we're all gonna die. Everyone makes mistakes, and some of us make really big mistakes. But we've all got to pay the ultimate debt eventually, but sometimes some of us will exercise the proverbial acceleration clause, and, sadly, that's just how it goes.
P.S. A quick add-on (9/27): this piece still doesn't change the fact that I was, and remain, quite pissed off about this entire thing. There's so many folks out there that bust ass every October & December to make those property tax payments & here he was just not paying them. Of course, we never really know what's going on with somebody's life unless we have direct information, but it doesn't matter. He skirted his responsibilities. He failed miserably on that front.
However, the real anger I have is directed towards that aforementioned Constitutional Officer, Barbara Dingler, the retiring Newton Co. Tax Commissioner. She totally & absolutely failed everybody with this thing.
- Marshall McCart | 26 September '19