Last week, during the Agriculture and Home Economics Seminar, I was privileged to visit with a number of friends from throughout our county and to note that our heritage of friendliness still remains strong. Watching the people standing around in small groups and visiting was a real pleasure, and listening to some of the conversations about life in our county certainly made me feel at home.
Because we no longer have central meeting places, we rarely get to see many of our friends and neighbors from elsewhere in the county. Some of us really miss those Saturday afternoons on Main Street when we could park our cars and just watch people passing. When we saw someone we knew, we would get out to talk and to collect the latest news from their area of the county. We would take some time to buy soft drinks at one of the drug stores and would then continue our people watching and visiting.
Because I was homesick for people from the lma community from the time we moved into town in 1939, 1 would wander up and down the block in front of the courthouse and keep watch for anyone from that area passing by and would then dash upstairs to report the latest sighting to Mother. Of course, one of the cars I always looked for then belonged to our grandparents. They usually came in on Saturdays to do some shopping and visiting, and I was right there to open Grandmother's car door the minute the car stopped.
I think that most of us from these parts spent a lot of time looking for friends we knew as we wandered up and down Main Street. We formed that habit at a very early age, and most of us have carried such a habit with us throughout our lives. No matter where we may be wandering, we are always looking around to see if we can recognize a friend along the way. I suffered from eye strain during the years I had the chance to do a lot of traveling abroad. On those occasions, I never ran into anyone from home, but I surely found a lot of friendly people in the rural areas of the British Isles. Country people just naturally speak the same language wherever we roam.
Although we no longer see many people on Main Street, we continue to look for visitors from the county wherever we are around town. Sometimes, we will see one or two at the grocery store, and other times, we will see them in restaurants. We continue to greet each other just as warmly as we did all those years ago. We even continue talking about many of the same subjects: rain, lack of rain, crops, cattle, other friends, and life in general.
'Tis nice to live in an area in which we can see people we know on a daily basis and can spend a few minutes or a few hours catching up on the latest news. We are still interested in each other and in what is happening in our county. Aren't we fortunate to live in such a great place? Aren't we fortunate to still have our pioneer heritage of friendship and friendliness? We have a most special place to call home and most special people to call friends.