July 2006 Issue
In July 2002, the residents of Shishmaref, an Inuit hamlet on one of Alaska’s barrier islands just 20 miles south of the Arctic Circle, finally surrendered.
They were defeated by decades of implacable change in their local environment. Rising sea levels, melting ice, deteriorating permafrost and increasingly violent storms were rendering their village uninhabitable.
So they voted to pick up and go, says community leader Tony A. Weyiouanna Sr. “It was pretty clear that our island was going to wash away and that we needed to relocate,” he says.
In the Spring of 2001, we called on five busy lawyers and asked them to open up to our readers. They lived diverse lives in different parts of the country, practicing in different areas of the law and dealing with different kinds of family demands.
Emmett F. Hildreth Jr. already has the headline written. “D-A-D: The Day After Dennis,” he suggests as he stands on the beach near his home in the Florida Panhandle and describes the damage from one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the area.
By his own estimate, Minneapolis lawyer Ronald K. Gardner Jr. says, it is probably impossible nowadays to drive 50 miles from any point in the United States and not be able to buy a sandwich from a Subway store.
Gardner’s observation is neither a comment on the collective American palate nor a critique of popular culture. But it does say a lot about the state of franchising in the United States today and its outlook for the future.