Loose Ends: We’re looking forward … again

No pining for the past. There are no signs posted on Main Street on the old fashioned street lights, not many plaques commemorating historic events. A recent book review, written about a new book focusing on how the west is changing, cited one shared characteristic of all the western communities that are able to meld the past and the future successfully. Recognizing their past, rather than dwelling on it, they move forward to the a new way of life. Apparently these towns are the ones that are able to combine traditions of the past with the new scenarios of the future.
It took me quite a while to get used to the understated western view of life. Not only were the daily salutations small and spare, but the conversations short and laconic. A positive look at things happening around the community, were covered by such phrases as, “not too bad,” “fair to middlin’” or “all right.” One learned to take this to mean things were on the up and up generally.
Walking a tightrope between realistic expectations and nostalgia, some communities have a hard time dealing with the progress that a wealth of natural resources promises.
It is extremely difficult to discern the difference sometimes. There is no instructional manual available that can help communities commemorate their most historic moments, while continuing to present them in a dignified, tasteful manner.
One traditional Range Call parade entry this year drew a bit of attention, as the yearly dance hall can-can routine offended a spectator.
The newcomer complained that young women in our community should not be dressing up as saloon hall girls (even if the portrayal was historically accurate). The implication was that this tradition promoted promiscuity somehow. I don’t think so.
As we move into the future, we can look into the rear view mirror of history. It doesn’t mean that we have to censor unseemly events, or put a spin on how we should view them.