Editor’s note: Below, you’ll find an anonymous letter we received from a reader. While we also have an opinion on the beach access and customary use issue, we have purposely stayed away from any discussion on the matter because of how negative, mean spirited, and divisive the issue has become. That being said, we think this reader’s letter was worth publishing. And another thing…we aren’t entirely sure about the accuracy of his historical synapses on the matter…but we thought it entertaining….so, we’ll allow it.

Letter to the Editor from Anonymous: Unless you’ve been hiding in a turtle’s nest for the last couple of years, you realize that there has been an escalating conflict brewing throughout South Walton County Florida. A conflict that has become downright nasty, ornery, and ugly to see.

They say that good fences make great neighbors. Not really sure who the “they” are who actually coined this phrase…maybe it was Ben Franklin or Xin Dynasty from Ancient China….who knows…  Either way, it seems that Walton County has most definitely been divided…not by fences mind you, but by ropes, property lines, trespassing signs, emotions, anger, and the like.

While I do have an opinion on the matter, I’ll refrain from publishing it here. Why would I take the cowardly approach with my opinion? Because y’all have lost your damn minds…that’s why.

Just look at we’ve become….look at how we’re treating one another.  Civil discourse, logic, and friendliness have left the arena and have been replaced by virtual weapons.  The same people who once shared drinks at the Red Bar and spoke cordially over dinner in other eateries have now turned on one another.

It all started with the rudeness of a few instigators and has now caught fire like the measles in an anti-vaccer commune. I mean look at what’s going on around us… everybody is calling each other names, getting naked and photoshopping fake cop stings into social media posts, and much more.

How did we get to this point?

Best I can tell is that a few years back, one dude from one beachfront property began cussing people out for standing behind his house and other properties within his gated neighborhood. That’s right…one…single…neighborhood. A neighborhood that only encompasses about 300 to 400 yards of beach frontage.

One day, this dude cussed at the wrong dude. This new dude then gathered a bunch of other dudes and dudettes to walk down the beach while holding hands, and then… all of the sudden…other beachfront owners starting worrying about who was going to be standing behind their houses. Someone petitioned government….government acted…the dudes and dudettes got even more pissed and subsequently petitioned the government as well…. AND THEN, the other folks petitioned more government. Smear campaigns began…not for profits began…movements to incorporate initiated…and now, lawsuits have begun.

All of this because one guy was an a-hole to another guy who also happens to be an a-hole. Now, we have brothers and sisters hating one another…the original dude hiring guards to prevent folks from walking behind his house…and some new dudes running naked down the beach and making questionable claims about beach access.

As my grandmother used to say…” it’s gotten quite ugly and” we “better break it up before someone loses an eye”.

While we may disagree on the matter, why can’t we at least make an attempt at being civil to one another? You and I both know that nothing good is ever said in anger.  Leave the name-calling to the politicians, and the bullying tactics to…well…those who cannot make a decent argument.

Remember…we are a small community and after all of this is settled, ugly words and actions will continue to live on.