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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Friday, May 18 2001

Prominent people

Walt Cameron's writing recently about his childhood in Belsano and memories of storekeepers Ward Adams and Merton Edwards inspired some thoughts about prominent people.

Nowadays it seems like there are no "prominent people," probably because I'm now a very small fish in a very large pond...one of thousands of technical writers in a metropolitan area of about five million people (greater San Francisco/Bay Area). Here in the San Jose subsection of the nine-county standard metro area, the largest pool in the pond in population, it seems like the only prominent person is the mayor, and we tend to forget who that is from one administration to the next. I'm sure people who "make the scene" have a whole cadre of prominent people on their radarscreens, but for normal stay-at-homes like me, the only people who count are those who let me get into the lane I want on the freeway and hold the door if I'm just behind them on the way in or out. And such prominences as those are very fleeting and ephemeral (here today/gone tomorrow).

I think my Congress Member is Zoe Lofgren, though I wouldn't swear to it. I know the President is George Dubya and the governor is some Davis I'd rather not remember. I don't know who publishes or edits the San Jose Mercury (other than the corporate "publisher," Knight-Ridder) or the San Francisco Chronicle (recently acquired by the Hearst Corporation after a century of coveting it). I know who the publisher and editor of the Metro weekly are, if they haven't left their posts in the past five years, but then I used to be their peer at the chief competition.

But when we lived in Blacklick Valley we knew scores of "prominent people" from Ward Adams to Jessie Edwards to John Kupchella to many of the faculty members of two/three high schools, insurance agents like Prave and Thomas, at least one person at each car dealership, the dentists, clinic employees, undertakers, the top producers in the Lion's Club, Mr. Nanty Glo Lloyd McMullen, Doss Paul, Tom Bello, the LaMantias, Rineharts, and Commonses, the manager and some clerks at the Acme, several of the local clergymen, two or three of the Yobaggy Brothers, Betty Nedrich, Steve Oblackovich and lots of Rummels, and so on and on. We even knew lots of names of prominent people in Ebensburg and Johnstown.

If you lived out of town you knew at least the family name of every family living within a mile from your house, and many of those beyond (and I wouldn't know how this translates for those who lived "in" town, never having lived there). So in that sense, everyone had more "prominence" in that milieu. I know the family name of only one of the neighboring houses to the one I've lived in for over 15 years, and that's only because we occasionally get a letter intended for them misplaced in our box. We have a few first names—only three or four—beyond that.

Is the "big village" still alive in places like Blacklick Valley or, because of urbanizing trends like more broken homes, perhaps, people are more alienated there, too? And if, like me, you've moved far from the valley, how do you find things in your neck of the woods?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Conjugal duties

One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?"

The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't, dear," she said "I have to sleep in Daddy's room."

A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: "The big sissy."

Sent by Trudy Myers

More great words of wisdom. . .Modern Proverbs

It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill—just add a little dirt.

A successful marriage isn't finding the right person—it's being the right person.

The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.

Too many people offer God prayers, with claw marks all over them.

The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it.

Sent by Zan
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