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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

The Oyster

Cowboy humorist Baxter Black is known for his jokes, so when he puts them in a poem, the crowds laugh twice as hard. “The Oyster” is one of his favorites, and he describes the poem as a classic city vs. country misunderstanding.

The sign upon the café wall said OYSTER: fifty cents. “How quaint,” the blue-eyed sweetheart said with some bewilderment, “I didn’t know they served such fare out here upon the plain.”

“Oh, sure,” her cowboy date replied, “We’re really quite urbane.”

“I would guess they’re Chesapeake or Blue Point, don’t you think?”

“No ma’am, they’re mostly Hereford cross . . . and usually they’re pink. But I’ve been cold, so cold myself, what you say could be true. And if a man looked close enough, their points could sure be blue!”

She said, “I gather them myself out on the bay alone. I pluck them from the murky depths and smash them with a stone!”

The cowboy winced, imaging a calf with her beneath, “Me, I use a pocket knife and yank ‘em with my teeth.”

“Oh my,” she said, “You’re an animal! How crude and unrefined! Your masculine assertiveness sends a shiver down my spine! But I prefer a butcher knife too dull to really cut. I wedge it in on either side and crack it like a nut! I pry them out. If they resist, sometimes I use the pliers or even Grandpa’s pruning shears if that’s what it requires!”

The hair stood on the cowboy’s neck. His stomach did a whirl. He’d never heard such grisly talk, especially from a girl!

“I like them fresh,” the sweetheart said and laid her menu down, then ordered oysters for them both when the waiter came around.

The cowboy smiled gamely, though her words stuck in his craw, but he finally fainted dead away when she said, “I’ll have mine raw!”

It was Rudy Kipling that once said “We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.” If Tama County is going to grow our economy fully and reap the full benefit of the capital already invested we need to ALL be on the same page. This discussion of clear communication helps people at all levels to empower them to recognize the important economic issues and find common grounds for action. This builds a sense of identity and participation in order to implement their decisions.

On top of that, development involves change, new ways of doing things. Will people have the confidence to make a project work? Will they acquire the new knowledge and skills they need?

Communication approaches are also invaluable for improved coordination and teamwork to help manage all the change and to gain community support.

We live in a communication age, and the full impact of communication on our economic development is just starting to be seen.  To become a communicator for Tama County’s economy {remember if you live here, you (by default) are automatically qualified}. Contact our office (641) 484-3108 or info@tamacountyiowa.org and we can provide more information on how YOU can start communicating the grow Tama County.


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