Joan Dorsey
Guest columnist
Looking at the new logo Gardner has unveiled, I started to wonder, What does it take to erase history? Maybe erase isn’t the word. Maybe modify or update might be better terms.
I wondered if I asked ten people at the grocery store just exactly what trails the new slogan was talking about what they would answer? I am guessing the first reply would be “I don’t have time to answer that question.”
Probably second would be “I didn’t know the jogging trail here in town had a name.”
Being born and raised here I grew up on Main St,. Old 56 Highway. Two lanes that became paved that became 4- lane etc. Right outside of town, farther down 56 Highway, to the west is the marker dividing the trails. Gardner was where the trails divided. The Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail. There were still trail ruts in some of the pastures around here when I was a kid, if you knew what you were looking for.
Past the marker and on down 56 about six miles is Edgerton. A quiet little town. Kids ride their bikes to school. They play outside till dark. My children grew up there. We lived there for 41 years. Children can still go to the Halloween party and visit with Santa at Christmas time, at no cost.
Edgerton unveiled a new logo and slogan a couple of years back. A big block letter “E.” The slogan being “Global Routes. Local Roots.” I don’t see much of the local roots in their logo.
I am not sure what my kids tell people about Edgerton, being their home town and all. I do know they mention all the good people they grew up around. They mention walking to school and fishing in the lake and that their Dad was the mayor.
These two little towns have history. Lots of history. Good history and some not so good. This is the way of most places that have been here for 100 years or so.
In the probably not-so-distant future, I would imagine the school will change the name of the mascot for the athletic teams, etc. It will probably no longer be the Trailblazers, probably just the Blazers. After all the people who settled this little town were trailblazers, traveling from the East across the rivers and heading out to the West on the trails. But who will remember that? Gardner’s big “G” with the blue and gold doesn’t jump right out and make that plain.
I am sure after this is in print, I will get feedback telling me I could have had a hand in the process or input on the new modern symbols of the town. I have to ask myself would it have made much difference. The people living here now aren’t much interested in what happened 50-60 or more years ago.
I am quite sure that the marker on 56 will at some point be moved or torn out, and it just won’t be put back up because that history is no longer important. That little parcel of land will be needed, either to widen a road or make way for other progress.
It is hard to let go of what was.
History is what made this place my hometown. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents, came from where the trails divided. My family has lots of local roots. I hope those roots don’t get buried under all these modern symbols of progress.