Feb. 28, 2012 — One of the things I’ve been covering since starting at the Lassen County Times three weeks ago is the police beat.
As I read through these mini-dramas each week it occurred to me that just as we each have our own personal narrative, the various stories and experiences that make up our lives, so too, does a place have its story.
While there’s a light side to police beat, especially when I read about a man dancing in the crosswalk or the heroic community efforts to rescue a dog whose head is stuck in a dryer vent, there’s a sad side as well.
By the end of the third week, I feel for the family of the Alzheimer’s patient who calls repeatedly and for the mother anxious about her child.
What is it that gives a place its character? Does a place hold memory just as a person does? And, if so, what does it remember?
The other day I realized that in cumulative years, I’ve lived longer in Lassen County than in any place since my childhood home in Ohio. When I first moved here, High Desert State Prison had not opened, although it was in the process of being built.
Yet, compared to the mountains, that time is nothing.
The memories of this area go far back to rock etchings and unmarked mountain graves. It was known by other names then and there were more trees.
A town’s narrative is also more than its people. It’s the coyote running across the ice at Hog Flat and the bald eagle circling the frozen fields. It’s the wolf that visits, as well as the rancher who wants to kill him.
I know Lassen County isn’t for everyone. It took me a while to appreciate it, too, but it’s always been a good place, a healing place and a creative place for me. And those of us who love it here don’t miss shopping malls or even that elusive quality: culture.
In a way, the quietness of the area becomes a culture of its own.It wakes you up to what’s right in front of you.
|< Prev||Next >|