“It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Most of us are familiar with the iconic Christmas film starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey.

His father owned the Bailey Savings & Loan, reaching out to the small man trying to get ahead. As much as George admired his father’s hard work, dedication, and values, he dreamed of getting out of Bedford Falls, traveling the world, achieving amazing things.

In the meantime, the archenemy in Bedford Falls was Mr. Potter, the evil banker whose goal was to completely control the town and everyone in it.

As the story goes, George’s dreams are thwarted at every turn until, finally, he swears that everyone would be better off had he never been born.

Thanks to his angel Clarence, he is given the opportunity to see what life would be like without him.

When that happens, Bedford Falls is no longer Bedford Falls but … Pottersville!

Pottersville is a bleak town under the complete control of Mr. Potter, who rules and reigns. People are frightened, distanced, suspicious, cowed.

As I look back on what has happened during recent months in the United States of America, “Pottersville” keeps coming to mind:

“NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New numbers from the NYPD show violent crime has been on the rise in New York City in the past month. The department says in the 28-day period from March 8 to April 4, there’s been a 95% jump in shootings compared to the same time period last year. Homicides have gone up 60%. There has also been a 54-percent increase in rapes.” https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/04/10/nyc-violent-crime-numbers-april-2021/

“Defunding” and disempowering the police has led to an enormous uptick in violent crime. “Data shows a precipitous decline in law enforcement activity from last June through this February. We found that across the 10 major cities we studied, deadly violence rose as engaged policing fell. Cities that cut (or threaten to) police budgets often saw the largest drops in active policing and the increases in homicide.” www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2021/04/09/violent-crime-surged-across-america-after-police-retreated-column/7137565002/

Illegal immigration out of control.

Energy resources in immediate threat.

Unrest in the Middle East such as we have not seen in a long time and Jewish people targeted here in the Pottersville version of America. BTW: Do Jewish lives matter?

In the words of George Bailey, “I want to live again! I want to LIVE again!”

As fiction goes, lucky for George Bailey. Unfortunately, not so lucky for us.

REBECCA MONTRONE

Keene