The Joys of Learning Neighborhood History ~ The Imaginative Conservative
, 2022-10-11 14:42:55,
We spend much of our time concerning ourselves with places and people far removed from us. The things closest to us, by contrast, often become negligible and disposable. If you make an effort to reconnect with your neighborhood, town, and community, you may come to see your home in a new light—hallowed by time and history, and perhaps even imbued with heroism or romance.
Once upon a time, people had a profound attachment to their home—their town or neighborhood or patch of land—and its history and traditions. They attended band concerts on the green, watched baseball games and parades, witnessed the dedication of a Civil War cannon in the town square. In the evenings they strolled through their neighborhood greeting neighbors on their front porches, where Sheriff Andy Taylor strummed his guitar with Opie and Aunt Bea.
Then, with the growth of urban life, traffic, chain restaurants, and mass communication, we became more interested in what was happening in Angola than what was happening in our backyard. The backyard itself became uglier and less interesting through neglect. History itself ceased to matter, so absorbed were we in the whirl of the new. In short order we became anonymous, brain-befogged beings, walking city streets with our heads down staring at pieces of plastic (and occasionally bumping into large poles of metal).
Such is the romantic-nostalgic view of things, which undoubtedly has elements of truth in it. As for myself, I have been making a…
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