The past three weeks, my wife and I have spent in the Chicago area, where we were born and raised. We went there to attend a family reunion and to escape the brutal heat that has become an unbearable circumstance her in the Albany area.
Well, we arrived to two days of relatively cool weather with the temperatures in the range of 78-81 degrees. Then, the temperatures and humidity quickly changed to the upper 90s and the heat index daily was more than 100 degrees. So we quit playing golf and spent our time trying to keep cool and checking out the spectacular wind farm that surrounds my little hometown of 500 people — Ohio, Ill. Yes, you read that name correctly.
We headed for that area after being in the area for a couple of days. When we got within a couple miles of this little town, it was like arriving on the surface of the moon or some foreign planet. It was our first time to be up close and personal to these huge metal windmills that generate electricity. It reminded me of Sedona, Ariz. I couldn’t put my camera down. I couldn’t take enough pictures or couldn’t be close enough to these unusual creatures! You just had to be there to understand how these big white metal windmills made you feel!
I started doing some investigating about these wind farms, as they are called, and found that the windmills don’t have to be rotating fast to generate a lot of electricity. I said that because most of the wind mills where not moving, or were moving rather slowly, the days that I was there. Some said that they interfered with TV reception, but after investigation I found that only the old style antennas had any problems like that.
Why put these wind mills all over the area? They produce a great deal of electricity and a lot of money for the town and the people owning the property where they are installed. How much money? Well, I was told that land owners gets between $9,000 and $10,000 per year for each windmill. And, the little town, which was close to losing its school, my school, also gets about $9,000 per year for each one located in its school district. Wow! Talk about an answer to the prayers of everyone in this tiny town!
As I left my home town, I thought there is always an answer to our problems, regardless of what they are. We just need to think outside the box and eventually we can come up with the answers needed to solve our current problems. I still say that downtown Albany could be transformed into a French Quarter like New Orleans or an Olive Street like St. Louis used to have. Ray Charles or other musical artists are from Albany. What aren’t we building upon this fact?!