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Living here long enough to officially be called an “old-timer,” yet not long enough to know everybody who was born and raised here, I feel bad when I overlook someone who made a difference in the community, in individual’s lives.
Years ago, after interviewing a member or two of a pioneer family, many surnames became quite familiar and it wasn’t until I started writing this column more than three years ago that I realized how many other names of individuals should be remembered for their contribution to our community.
Conversations with residents during the past three years have made me aware of individuals I have overlooked. Most of these columns are centered around a theme, so when I mention the names of area residents who were remembered for their contributions, there are others who may have served the community in an equally important way. Every generation seems to have the community doers — those whose chosen professions offer them the opportunity to serve others (teachers, clergymen, doctors, lawyers, servicemen of all varieties), as well as dedicated community members.
My explanation might not be satisfying to those who feel I have done a disservice to an individual’s reputation through an omission. No omission is purposeful or intentional, the information just needed to be passed on.
I am not doing interviews with residents these days, as I only write one column a week.
I am attempting to pull the past and present together by using the local historical society’s series of oral and written histories: “This Is What I Remember,” as well as using the centennial edition of the local newspaper.
If one of my columns offers accolades and recognition to an individual through someone’s remembrances, that is great. However, it is by no means denigrating those others who have been left out. I would appreciate the help of local residents by either phoning or e-mailing me.
The Rio Blanco Historical Society’s newsletter is trying to recognize those families and individuals whose stories have not been included in the past volumes of local history.
Each month, they feature interviews that will be in the new, “This Is What I Remember” volume, due out in the near future. Each suggestion to look back to try and include a few others who haven’t been mentioned is well-taken. I hope I can include some of these forgotten individuals in future columns, as well.