At 55 years old, Kane has been living in Carroll County for 21 years. Before living in Carroll County he lived in Baltimore County. He moved here with his wife and one year old son to start a family.
KATIE: Today is Tuesday, November 30, 2010. We are at the home of Mr. David Kane, at– off of Bird View, in Westminster, Maryland. How are you, today?
DAVID KANE: I’m good. How are you doing, Katie?
KATIE: I’m doing good. I’m just going to ask you some questions about your experience living in Carroll County.
DAVID KANE: OK.
KATIE: So, how old are you?
DAVID KANE: I’m 55.
KATIE: OK, and uh, how long have you lived in Carroll County?
DAVID KANE: About 21 years.
KATIE: OK, where did you live, prior to Carroll County?
DAVID KANE: I lived in Baltimore County, off of Liberty Road.
DAVID KANE: Like Woodlawn, Milford Mill area.
KATIE: And what brought you to Carroll County?
DAVID KANE: I grew up in that area, actually. I– I lived in Howard County, prior to that, sorry. Um, uh, a place to start a family.
KATIE: OK, so did you move here with your– like, who all did you move here with?
DAVID KANE: I moved here with my wife and my one-year-old son, at the time.
KATIE: OK, um, can you tell me a little bit about the dynamic of your family?
DAVID KANE: Uh, sure, we have– uh, my wife and I, we have three kids presently– uh, Matthew at 21, Steven– Emma at 20, and Steven at 18. Um.
KATIE: OK. OK, and, um, what has made you want to stay in Carroll County as long as you have?
DAVID KANE: Um, it’s a comfortable place to live. It’s a good– good community. Crime is not, you know, prevalent as it– well, it’s probably more than it was when we first moved here, but not, uh, you know, since we’ve been here.
Um, it’s just a safe place. It’s comfortable. Um, and it’s what we call home.
KATIE: Good. Do you have any other family that lives in Carroll County?
DAVID KANE: I do have a mother that lives at Carroll Lutheran Village. That’s it. I have three other brothers, but they don’t live in the county.
KATIE: OK, and, um, how long has your mother lived in Carroll County?
DAVID KANE: She lived in Carroll County probably, uh– wow, probably 30-some years. 40 years. Some 30, 40 years. Something like that.
KATIE: OK, um, what have been some of the biggest changes in the county since you’ve lived here? So from the beginning, when you first moved in, and today currently, what are some changes that you’ve seen?
DAVID KANE: Um, physical changes? Um, you know, more restaurants. That’s been good. Um, you know, more roads, but not a whole lot. Not– not a lot has, really.
I mean, a lot of people say they’ve seen a lot of change. I– I don’t feel big change, you know, compared to other counties. I think that Carroll County has, uh, has, um, has minor changes– a little construction changes, more housing obviously.
Um, I think it’s been a well-controlled growth over the last 20 years. Um, nothing explosive.
KATIE: So you’re overall– you’re overall pleased with how Carroll County has grown?
DAVID KANE: Well, yes, yes. I mean, I’m– you know, I come from an agricultural background, so I– I’d, you know, like to see more farms, but that’s– you know, it’s hard to exist with farms, nowadays.
KATIE: Do you want to share a little bit about your agricultural background?
DAVID KANE: Sure, I’m a landscape contractor. Of course, most of my work is in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. Um, we have– uh, we have a small farm here at our place growing horticultural crops, uh, perennials– my wife does.
Um, and it’s been– uh, it just– it’s only been in the last– you know, it’s always– we’ve always grown something here, you know, horticulturally, not economically. Um, yes. Uh, yeah.
KATIE: OK, so have you seen any changes agriculturally, throughout the county, since you’ve been here?
DAVID KANE: Um, I’ve just seen less agriculture, more than anything. I mean, I– you know, just less agriculture, less, you know, farms, less dairy– less, you know, of agricultural industry. It’s just, it’s– you know, and it’s just the way it goes. You know, it’s just what’s going to happen everywhere, really. It’s just hard to exist, um, with a family farm.
KATIE: It is? And why do you think that is? Why you think that it’s hard to exist that way, these days?
DAVID KANE: Just there’s not enough money, and what you get, uh, the big farms in the Midwest, uh, gobble it all up. And, um, even then, they have a hard time living and existing, with the current pricing.
Um, uh, it’s just hard to make a living. I mean, it’s– the cost of things haven’t changed in 40 years– I mean, the cost of straw, the cost– the cost of, you know, grains, they just haven’t changed. They’re– they’re the same prices.
And even in my industry, things have changed. We, um, install sod at the same price as we did in 1970. So it’s tough.
KATIE: OK, I was about to follow up to see if– how those changes have affected your life.
DAVID KANE: Um, you just got to do more, you know, to keep up with three grown children– excuse me– three grown children and, um, the demands it’s– that, that– you know, of course, I put on myself, but– you know, need to, for existence.
KATIE: OK, and–
DAVID KANE: Excuse me.
KATIE: –do you feel that any of those changes that you described– of the agriculture, and the decrease in farmland, and the, um, sustained prices throughout the past years– do you think that that has affected your family as well?
DAVID KANE: Well, um, absolutely, it has. Um, uh, it’s just harder. It’s– it’s a hard way to make a living, you know. It’s– and uh, I mean, I have a passion for it, and I love it. You know, if I didn’t have that, I– I couldn’t exi– couldn’t make a living.
But, um, you know, it’s– there’s easier ways to make the mon– make the buck, and that– you know, it just– it’s just hard. It’s physically hard, mentally hard, to make a living in the agricultural business.
KATIE: What do you feel has, um, been the cause of less farmland, decreases in dairy, and all the things that you listed? What do you feel has been replacing them?
DAVID KANE: You know, I don’t know. I think, um– Uh, I’ll have to think on that answer for a minute. You probably can– I don’t know.
DAVID KANE: I don’t know.
KATIE: That’s OK. Um, let me see. Um, what changes have you seen, in terms of the community, throughout the county, while you’ve been here?
DAVID KANE: That’s a good one. Um, you know, when we first moved here, we were very active in the Boy Scouts, and, um, sense of community, and the church. And, um, I don’t know. I– I see, uh, I see less community involvement today than I did, you know, 20 years ago.
Um, and it might be just because where I am in my life, too. Um, but, uh, um, I just see less, you know, programs available for younger people, uh, to involve them in the community, you know, um. It just– uh, you know, you got to get them there, but it’s– it’s hard getting them involved in, um, you know, community activities.
And I don’t know what the magic formula is, but, um, I– I think that Carroll County could do a better job, uh, you know, with commun– getting more community. You know, it’s– it’s about the community, without a doubt, for me, you know. It’s about, you know, us sharing with– our lives with other people and– and getting them involved with each other, and not, you know, you know, running parallel– having families running parallel lives, you know.
KATIE: Right, um, so do you feel that– were your– were your children involved in the community when they were younger?
DAVID KANE: They were involved in the Boy Scouts, and Relay For Life, and church activities. Um, and– so yeah. They were involved, um, you know, as well, with sports activities.
Um, I think there is an overemphasis on sports activities. Um, and I just think there should be more type of community activities that can be created, that, um, need to involve kids, to, um, help them get on the right path.
KATIE: OK. Um, what are your thoughts and opinions? Like, how does– how do the changes in the county make you feel, and like, what are your personal thoughts towards them?
DAVID KANE: In reference to what, though? I mean, like–
KATIE: Any of the changes that you’ve listed, and any of the changes that you’ve experienced.
DAVID KANE: I don’t know. I– like I said, I really think the controlled growth has been really good. Um, like I’ve said, I’ve seen counties that have really, um, not had controlled growth.
You know, I think our infrastructure is– is adequate. Uh, you know, I’m sure there’s probably problems with it, um, uh, but I– I think, um– you know, I mean, from trash problems to landfill problems to community waste problems to, um, you know, their highway and recreational and parks, uh, I mean, it– it’s– it’s– I think they’re doing the best they can with what they have.
I mean, um, I’ve seen worse. I’ve seen– you know, I haven’t seen too many better. I’m– I’m– I’m proud to live in this county.
KATIE: Good, that’s very encouraging to hear. Um, I know that your experience may be limited or different, but, um, have you seen any changes in the school systems, in the education?
DAVID KANE: Um, you know, when I– when my kids first started in the school system, I was really energetic, and I, um, had– um, you know, I still– I think they got a good edu– education. One of my sons had went to private school. Actually, my daughter actually went to private school, too. Um, um, but, you know– so we’ve had a little mixed bag of– of– of– education throughout their lives.
Um, but I think– again, I think they’re doing the best they can with the resources they have, and, um, I don’t– um, you know, is there room for improvement? Absolutely, always, you know.
There’s a few things that they probably went– came across, our kids, in growing up, that I think that I could have seen done– they could have done better. At the time, I thought they were doing it right. Of course, you know, 20/20 is always– you know, yeah.
But, um, yeah, I think, um– you know, it’s– it’s hard to be an educator. I– I– I– respect those people. It’s a tough job.
KATIE: Um, are there any experiences or stories that you would like to share, of– from your time that you’ve been here, in the county?
DAVID KANE: Hmm. Hmm. What kind of stories? [INAUDIBLE].
KATIE: Anything fun, anything that stands out to you in your memory, of maybe what it was like when your kids were younger, that doesn’t exist now. Um, anything, really.
DAVID KANE: I don’t know. The best memories are of my ki– children, obviously, and their involvements in Boy Scouts, and the community involvement we had with that, and the– and the troop that we were in. It was– you know, we were kind of very active in it, very active, and, um– almost to the point where it was– you know, it was a good part of our lives.
Um, and it was a good community, a lot of people with a lot of good– a lot of good people. And, um, so from that viewpoint, you know, I’ve got a very good experience, you know, from that.
Um, you know, I could probably find a million bad stories, or a million, you know, stories that– that– that are hardships, or that– that are– that are, you know, throughout the county, and, um– but you know, I don’t know what purpose it would serve.
KATIE: Right, good. OK, well are there any remaining thoughts or anything that you’d like to share? Any words of wisdom?
DAVID KANE: I don’t know, from where the county should go from here? You know, I don’t know. It’s a tough thing.
I, um, I, um– you know, in terms of politically connected? I’m not, OK? I’m probably just the average Joe.
Um, but I think, uh, you know– you know, it’s hard to be a politician. Um, you know, you need to please everybody within the county. I mean, uh, you know, the Republican county that it is, it’s, um, uh– God, I don’t– I don’t know. I’m sorry.
KATIE: That’s OK.
DAVID KANE: You know, I don’t know. You know. Or it just could be boring.
KATIE: It’s OK. It’s not boring. It’s not boring at all.
OK, well, thank you. This has been great, and I’ve enjoyed learning more about you and asking you questions pertaining to Carroll County. So thank you.
DAVID KANE: OK. Thank you, Katie.