Wednesday, 1 April 2009

As new social communities emerge, what happens to old real communities

Story just something to reflect upon:

Apr 1, 6:33 AM (ET)


SANDY RUN, S.C. (AP) - Mary Sue Merchant died of natural causes in a tightly locked house on 25 acres in this small community, with only a dog for company. Now her small town is reflecting on why no one noticed for 18 months.

Nobody knew the reclusive widow was gone - not even when the house was sold for back taxes while her decomposing body lay inside. Sometime later, the lonely dog died of thirst in the same room.

"We didn't know this lady existed," Sheriff Thomas Summers said.

Only after the 72-year-old woman's body was found last week did it occur to neighbors they hadn't seen her in a while. And some people wonder if they've lost a fundamental connection of small-town life.

"We've lost the community," said the Rev. Neil Flowers, who plans to talk about Merchant on Sunday at Beulah United Methodist Church, a few miles from where Merchant died. "We do our own thing. We lead busy lives. We go and go and go ... and stay within our comfort zone."