Joan Dorsey
Contributing Columnist
I have been thinking about small town Christmas lately. This year we long for all those comfortable things that we can remember from the past.
I was lucky to grow up in Gardner. My folks had quit wandering and were content to be near their family. I lived in the same house the entire time I was in school. I walked home with the same people almost every day.
Brad Rankin is posting on Facebook lots and lots of photos and even very old movie clips from home movies by Dr. A.S.Reece.
He is also digging in all the versions of the newspaper from earlier days. Not to mention all the items saved by his family members. It is comforting once again to get a glimpse into a town from 60 years before. Brad is doing a great job and people seem to really enjoy reminiscing.
Small town newspapers are in danger. Actually they are pretty much gone. I know a lot of people don’t care. However people who research history love the stories and photos. Where else can you see your child’s name in print for the points scored in a high school sports event? Or the photo of a bride and groom in wedding attire.
Members of the Rankin family cut out stories and kept clippings.
In the end it was the way to immortalize the life of someone who spent their life in this place. Many passed this year with no notice. Much harder to find family in the future.
Support your local museum. Keep family records. Lots of people say they live in Gardner. They own a home here and go to the local grocery store. But a lot of them never have lives here beyond the end of their driveway.
A hometown, or community is made of people who connect. Let us all reconnect this next year. Let’s make this a place where the kids growing up can say  it was their hometown.