Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Thread

"You don't know me, but......"

Since I began writing the weekly column for the local paper back on Neff Road, messages from others who have their roots there knock on my virtual door. Well, it's not a door. It's more like a message on Facebook or a note in my email box. Once more I am home meeting someone from my past and many times people I don't know.

I love hearing their stories. Theirs are mine as well. The dialogue begins with a memory and takes us far beyond. Today I received a note from a woman who grew up lived near Shuff's Implement Store. My dad worked there. She would walk down to the shop and visit with him. Best of all, she was baptized in our creek. I had no idea. Another chapter in my parents' lives opened to me. I did not know this woman, but now I do. Once more I am on Neff Road with a friend.

I have heard from those who live in Greenville. We talk about the old stores. Who ran which store? When did it close? All part of that thread. A strong thread.

Many of the people I know in Darke County are in their nineties. Some are centenarians. My mother would be 100 next year. I'm thrilled to know that many read the column. I want to give back. I want them to know they are important to me. Once a week I can stop in and say 'hello'. Once a week, we can walk through the past and remember.

Perhaps someday I will add their stories to mine. Maybe it is a history we write together. Not just the history of a time or a location. No, it is the story of the people on Neff Road.

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