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It’s News to Me: Telling Stories
Posted By Editor On October 1, 2009 @ 11:50 am In Area News | Comments Disabled
By Shari Phiel
As some of our readers may already know, this is my last column and last week with the Berthoud Recorder. I am moving to the northern coast of Oregon later this week. I will definitely miss all of the wonderful people I have met over the nearly 14 years I’ve lived in Colorado, and it’s been a genuine pleasure to cover all of the events, news and interesting happenings in Berthoud for the past 18 months, too.
In addition to writing stories, I also love to collect stories. Whether they are fables, fairy tales, parables or epic poems, it doesn’t matter. As this is my last column, I thought it would be a great time to pass along one of my favorites.
Once upon a time … in a small town much like any other American small town, one of the community’s elder citizens sits on the porch at the local general store watching the traffic go by. Soon he notices a young man in a suit pull up to the gas pump at the store and watches him as he fills up his car.
Once the young man finishes, he heads inside the store, and as he passes the older man, he pauses and says, “Excuse me, can I ask you question?”
The older man says yes and the young man asks, “Well, I’m headed into town for a job interview, and since I’m not from around this area I was wondering … could tell me a little bit about your town.
The older man looks up at the younger man thoughtfully and instead of answering his question responds, “Why don’t you tell me about where you live now.”
The young man is a little surprised by the request, but answers anyway. “Oh, I don’t really like the town I live in now. There’s too much traffic, the schools are terrible, the politicians are all corrupt, and everything is just too expensive.” Then he adds, “What’s more my neighbors are all unfriendly and their kids are just spoiled rotten. I can’t wait to move to another town. In fact, that’s why I’m interviewing for this job.”
The older man just nods his head, thinks for a moment and then says, “Well, I’m sorry to say I think you’ll find it’s just like that here too. In fact, it’s probably even worse.”
Crestfallen, the young man gets back into his car and drives off for his interview.
Several weeks go by and the same older man is once again sitting out on the porch at the store when a different young man in a suit drives up, gets out of his car and heads into the store. As he reaches the older man he stops and says, “Excuse me, sir. I’m here in town for a job interview and was wondering if you could tell me a little about your town.”
Once again, the older man responds, “Why don’t you tell me about where you live now.”
The younger man answers, “I love the town I live in now. There’s hardly any traffic, the schools are the best in the county, our elected officials work hard for the town, and our neighbors are really friendly. I really don’t want to leave, but this job would be too good to pass up.”
The older man smiles broadly and says, “Well, I’m happy to say you will find it’s just like that here. In fact it’s probably even better.”
So here’s to finding another town just like Berthoud — where all of the people are friendly, the news stories are interesting to cover, the town staff are easy to work with and all of the writers are talented.
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