Where else can you turn a corner and find a friend and history

By Lynn Moncus

During our forty-one years of visiting with each other via this column, we have mentioned frequently how very fortunate we are to live in a small town and a great county. While I was down south, I survived each day by knowing I would be coming home soon even if only for a weekend.

Most of my friends down there couldn’t begin to understand what drew me to this rural area because they had either grown up in cities or had moved so often that they didn’t really have a hometown or canyons that called to them. Now, they are more sure than ever that I have lost touch with reality because I rarely get out of the county and more rarely head south.

Where else but in a small town could I land at the coffee table only to have been preceded by the UPS carrier who had left a package there for me because she didn’t want to leave it on the front porch in a high wind? Where else would she know my habits and know that package would be safe even if I hadn’t shown up that day? Yes, most of us would say that I am in a bit of a rut, but we’d also agree that is a very comfortable place to be.

Where else would I be privileged to receive so many long distance calls from total strangers who want information about some of their relatives who once lived in our county? Many of us here have similar experiences and tend to share them with each other.

Sometimes, I can answer the questions and sometimes I can’t. Just this week, a fellow called from Georgia to inquire about his relatives and became a little tense when I said I had never heard of them. When I asked in what part of the county they had lived, he said he didn’t know; thus, I couldn’t even direct him to someone who might have the information.

When I asked if they had homesteaded here, he had never heard that word, and I knew we wouldn’t be able to find much help.

The week before a woman called to ask about her grandfather, and I did recognize his name although I hadn’t known him. She then told me she had talked to Uncle Herman’s granddaughter who had more information than I.

Well, I mentioned that must have been an experience since Uncle Herman had no children. She argued that point for a few minutes before I sort of lost patience and recommended that she get in touch with that person again.

As do many of you, I also receive a number of letters each year in which the writers are inquiring about their family members who landed here in the early days.

They are usually interesting because they contain quite a bit of history of the people about whom they are inquiring. They also give me a chance to do some extra writing as well as some extra visiting with friends in our county in order to gather some of the necessary information.

Where else but in a small town could we visit with friends at every turn in order to keep up with the local and county news? Total strangers have stopped at the coffee table to remark that they have watched us talking, laughing, and speaking to most of the people who pass by and think that we must be having a very good time.

Some are from small towns and are a bit homesick; whereas, others are from cities and are amazed that we seem to be enjoying life so much.

Although we made need a change of scene once-in-a-while, we are always eager to return to this place we call home.