Column: Off the record memories from 2012I’ve spent the past couple of days sifting through all of the stories and columns I’ve written over the past year. I have to say, it’s kind of fun. Doing the research helps me to remember so many things I’d forgotten about. In a way, my computer seems to be not only a history book of Farmington, but of my life.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
I’ve spent the past couple of days sifting through all of the stories and columns I’ve written over the past year. I have to say, it’s kind of fun.
Doing the research helps me to remember so many things I’d forgotten about. In a way, my computer seems to be not only a history book of Farmington, but of my life.
Most of the stories I’ve written in recent weeks have been about the city of Farmington’s budget. Before that it was budget and elections. Before that, it was liquor stores and fire trucks. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be – those are big stories to this community, and they’re worth time to follow and see how things develop. The decisions affect taxpayers, so naturally those are topics for publication.
But there were oh so many more things I’d forgotten about over the past year.
Think about this: In the Jan. 10, 2012 issue of the Independent, I printed a picture of the Anchor Bank marquee, which displayed a temperature of 55 degrees. Yes, in January.
I had a love-hate thing going on with last winter. I’m not a huge fan of long winters, but I was hoping for a snow day or two, since I now have a commute instead of a 1.5-mile drive to work. Didn’t happen. Instead of writing about snowstorms, I was writing about how the city of Farmington wasn’t issuing burning permits in January. The lack of snow had left dry fields and foliage, and the threat of grass fires in January was a real one. It was weird.
I didn’t argue too much in March, when I happened to take my “staycation” during a week of 60-degree weather. I didn’t mind the lack of snow one bit. I walked my dog, I enjoyed the weather. I even hung out laundry.
In late May, I got a forwarded email from fire marshal John Powers, from a gal by the name of Carolyn Quinn. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., but is working on a biography about Rose Thompson Horvick, mother to famed burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee. It turns out, Rose Thompson Horvick spent time in Farmington as a child.
Long story short, Carolyn and I had a wonderful chat when I called her for an interview on a Saturday morning. Through emails, then Facebook and LinkedIn, Carolyn and I have developed something of a pen-pal-of-today kind of friendship. I’ve not met her face to face, but it’s been fun getting to know her online. She hopes to come to Farmington one day, so she can really visualize where Rose Thompson Horvick spent part of her childhood. I’ll wager she’ll find Farmington quite a change from Brooklyn.
I spent much of August not in Farmington. It wasn’t by choice. I’d come down with an upper respiratory infection and was relegated to my couch for more than two weeks. Coming out of it, I made my way to Farmington for a couple of short days, but then found myself hanging around at the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at the state fair for the better part of two weeks. August, it seems, was kind of a wash for me.
But the cool thing is, once in a while I can find a few friendly faces and a couple of good stories at the state fair, too. I had to razz a couple of the Farmington Fire Department guys when I found out Farmington’s Explorer post had competed in a statewide contest (held mostly right outside of the Heritage Square gates – and I was in the museum, located in Heritage Square, the whole time) and that no one let me know they were going to be up there. But it was cool, too, because when the local Explorer post did the same contest in 2011, they came in second to last. This year, they came in second to the top.
When it comes right down to it, doing these top five stories also gives me the time and incentive to get rid of the files and files of notes I have stored. Some of them don’t make a lot of sense to me anymore, anyway. I threw out a file labeled “Thing” and another that was called “Whatever.” Not really sure where I was going with either of those files.
But now that I’ve taken my mental trip down memory lane, I’m looking forward to 2013, too. To seeing what kinds of events make our headlines, and to seeing what kinds of experiences come my way.
Happy New Year, everyone.