With a column title like mine, there’s freedom to write about any topic that exists.
But here’s the deal: I most love reporting on the happenings in southwest Iowa. I’m thrilled to be back in my old desk (though I could use an updated computer monitor) to write about you — the people in our neck of the woods.
One of my favorite tasks each week is designing the editorial pages of the Essex Independent and writing about the goings-on of the sleepy little town. But drumming up stories is the hardest task of all.
So, can I enlist your help? I’m going to start a new series for the paper to introduce readers to the area’s public servants — those in law enforcement and those who risk their lives literally in lines of fire, EMTs, et cetera.
Perhaps I’ll even come up with a children’s corner, because we all know that kids are a blast to converse with. (For instance, did you know that Tess’s 5-year-old son, Colt, named his calves “Pabo,” “Tabo” and his goat, “NINETEEN?”)
But one repeated bit you’ll see more of will be stories of romance.
Do you know who in Shenandoah met his wife while cruising on his motorcycle at the old A&W on Highway 59? Yup. She was just in town visiting from the West Coast, yet here she is eons later, married to a Shenandoah Mustang who … well … sells Mustangs now.
Do you know which couple had an encounter with law enforcement on their first date and hid under a table in the restaurant?
How about the couple who first started dating in high school and are still together with high schoolers of their own now? There are many of you like that. So out with it. Let me hear your story.
Who in your neighborhood has a great love story?
How long have they been married?
How did they meet?
How do they keep “the spark” alive?
Do they still flirt with each other?
Maybe they’re newly engaged. How did he (or she) pop the big question? Was it YouTube or ESPN-Sports-Highlight worthy? Or, was it more of a Kenneth Potter way of cinching the deal?
His simple, “It’s about time to get married” worked for him – he’s still wed to Thelma after 75 years.
There are amazing stories stuck to the walls of the buildings in our cities and I’m coming with power tools to restore them to their former beauty.
So, if you or someone you know has a story that the rest of us should hear, please give me a call at 246-3097.
One more thing … you might not think yours is worth telling, but I always have gum and am happy to share, so pop on into my office at 617 W. Sheridan and let me hear your best yarns.
Kristan Gray is a staff writer for The Valley News.