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Southern Eyes

We understand ourselves better if we understand our history. Today's kids and young adults have the advantage of growing up in the post-video recorder days. For many of them, their days are documented on video from the moment they are born. I guess that's why the social networks are so popular, because everyone is accustomed to being the center of attention.

Not only have many of them never heard of days before camcorders, but a day without televisions, computers, cell phones, GPS systems, and game systems would seem impossible to them. This week, a lightning storm temporarily took away the internet and cable at our house. Kevin and James were in conversation, when a question came up between them. Immediately, they opened their laptop to do a search, only to realize that would be fruitless. They seemed lost. Then they remembered they could use their cell phones to search the www, and their world was restored.

If only life could always be so simple. I think that is why I enjoyed attending the Dearing Centennial Celebration so much. So many memories were shared. With amusement and energy, those elderly people brought their younger years back to life as they reminisced. They had the great, old-fashioned knack of colorful description to bring the past 75 years seem like it was appearing on a movie screen in front of me. (I don't think there was anyone who personally remembered the first 25 of those 100 years, although they could repeat stories they'd heard).

Even though it wasn't "my" past, it made a difference to understand how the past was. Some things haven't changed in Dearing -- every body still knows every body and are neighbors in the true sense of the word.

I think that's why I like covering Dearing events. Those who don't know me act like they've known me all their lives. Nobody is a stranger.

And I think that's why I like finding the mystery items from the past that appear on this page every week. Not only do people actually call the museum to try and guess the identity of the item, but it brings back memories for them. I hope they take a quick minute to tell that memory to their children and grandchildren. It might actually sink in if they send it via picture text.

And we're bringing back the neighborly feeling of the past in a new feature to this "Reflections" page every week. Get to know someone you may see often, but never have the chance to converse with through our "Know Your Neighbor" feature. It'll make a great conversation starter. Pretty soon, the featured person may even be added to your "Friends" list.

Web posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010

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