Drinking Dale Moore Kool-Aid
I mean it in the good way. But apologies, nevertheless, to the home office. Acolytes are notorious at getting their gurus wrong. So to set us straight from the beginning, the punch I’m seeking from the Kool-Aid is this Dale Moore advice: Start taking imaginative, intuitive leaps RIGHT NOW if you want to catch up, let alone get ahead of the curve.
From The Leader desk, which overlooks Great Mills Road in Lexington Park, Maryland, this looks like the best advice around. And I’ve been looking and asking for this advice for the past 18 months. Prodding and prying ideas about Lexington Park from anyone willing to offer a broad brush or the deepest skinny, I’ve been all ears. And here’s the lowdown:
Naval Air Station Patuxent River could be situated in the Mojave Desert and continue doing a fine job for the world. There are people capable of making this a seamless transition. It would be a hassle, but not insurmountable.
Situated here, it provides an $8 billion economy spreading roughly from Prince Frederick to La Plata, skirting down a piece of the Virginia shore and completely encompassing St. Mary’s County.
Lexington Park is more a conceptual than geographic area. Still, it’s something the shape of a short-sleeve shirt with Pax River the head of its wearer, the collar centered at Gate II, Great Mills Road its tie.
Let’s call the collar and the tie LPCity.
To say LPCity is in economic distress is not overstating the obvious. Calling it a “piss pot” more closely captures what folks keep saying to me. And as those of us trained in the non-linear world know, you say it long enough and people will believe it.
LPCity’s distress followed a familiar pattern: Wealth flees, blight results. Inner-city wealth moved to the suburbs, leaving blight behind which then spread as wealth fled those burbs for some farther-out-burbs then into the outer-outer-burbs and then farmsteads, and here we are.
The good news is this: Entrepreneurial capitalism naturally follows falling property values. The best news is this: LPCity is near a robust economy. The pattern is this: A single catalyst can materialize wealth from this combination.
The catalyst is usually a capitalist. Think Walt Disney, P.T. Barnum, James Rouse, but even an ad hoc Coalition for Good can do it.
My history witnessed Larimer Square transforming from deep and dangerous piss-pot (where I learned the word piss-pot) to an anchor of a multi-godzillion-dollar revitalization of downtown Denver. There are larger and smaller successes in cities and towns of all sizes where a conduit to a vibrant economy can be established.
Among the broad brush and deep skinny, some colossal and pragmatic ideas percolate that could similarly recapitalize LPCity, which clearly needs to happen. They are not ideas hinged on government programs or three-ring binders of landscape drawings. They are about bringing wealth to beget investment in LPCity. They are about recasting that which has been cast aside into that which is desirable.
If I were to gulp some Kool-Aid right now, my intuitive leap suggests pouring wealth into LPCity is the shortest route to restoring its health, safety and welfare. That’s what successful re-capitalization efforts pattern.
More apologies to Mr. Moore, but in the short-shrift my take-away is this: Foster imaginative and intuitive leaps. These are the leaps that mark great human discoveries, that lead to our victories and successes.
Ahhhh, don’t let me lose you with this non-linear mumbo jumbo of economics and social sciences. Here is a concrete: Consider the existing and viable plans for a top-notch Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. That could put a very different trim on that collar.
So stay tuned, as those of the Cold War age used to say, for more LPCity ideas and more Moore.