Someone close to my heart often refers to her Putnam County point of
origin as a “sleepy little town.” My interpretation of this is that she
sees the villages inside this county’s boundaries as sitting peacefully
in the midst of God’s country while the world whooshes by. The locals
sip lemonade or hot cocoa, as the season dictates, on the back porch/by
the fireplace, watching the Holsteins graze on the back 40 behind the
hardware, mooing jovially to children as they skip home from school.
War, famine and ugliness are elements found way, way ‘out there’.
on your perspective, that’s either a lovely sentiment or your worst
fear. Either way, I doubt it was ever true. It sure isn’t now. Last week
a reader told me that Putnam County is a launching pad for people. The
Sentinel’s most recent Putnam County Guide includes a list of famous
people who hail from hereabouts. Nancy Kline is indulging her passion
for history to add some names to that list which you will see in the
near future. I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary at this desk, and
during this time I’ve heard of individuals who helped launch Sesame
Street, wrote Newbery Award-winning books, presided in this country’s
highest courts and invented life-altering technology. This week I spoke
to the brother and grandmother of Byron Kaverman of Fort Jennings, the
man who took second place in a world poker championship. He must have
learned that particular skill outside of Putnam County, because I’m sure
he never played cards in study hall or on the bus. I certainly never
did, no sir-ee.
We also see the infamous around these parts, and
on occasion it befits the edicts of journalism to cover the bad and the
ugly, sometimes requiring us to place coverage of the unpleasant
alongside or above the good. It happens, sometimes after we’ve already
mapped out what goes where on the page before it ships to the press.
Floods fill our streets and basements, algae blooms, businesses close,
people do go hungry and families divide.
Yep, this county is far
from asleep, and waking nightmares trouble us all from time to time. But
there’s a reason why people stay here, or go and come back as I did.
This land and its people do not sleep. Most of us even have internet
service, allowing us to find out just what kind of sea creature we are
via Facebook. Change rolls around here, sometimes reluctantly and other
times rocketing out of here to impact everyone else. And I’m finding
that there are more people in these parts who are prepared to embrace
Thank goodness there’s still a back 40 to escape to.