Archive for Wednesday, October 27, 1999

Kaleidoscope of a community

October 27, 1999

Like life itself, this geographic area covered by our newspaper is a never-ending continuum of change, a change of which we at The Mirror are constant observers.

I ran across a paragraph in a book last week that could have been written to describe my work as an editor of this newspaper. The following passage is from "Come With Me Home," by Gladys Hasty Carrol:
"Life became an intricate kaleidoscope, sometimes dark, sometimes brilliant, sometimes soft-colored, but never cloudy, and never twice the same combination. And she never knew, each morning when she picked it up, at which end she would find herself whether among the shifting patterns, or at the eyepiece looking down a long, narrow but gradually widening tunnel."

It's like that for me. When I awaken each day, I never know exactly what stories I will cover or what pictures I will view through the "eyepiece" of my camera. There's a framework, yes, a schedule roughed out ahead of time. But things come up or life comes up and often there is no choice but to follow, as all the while, I, and those with whom I work, continue looking down the "gradually widening tunnel."

Each week, The Mirror features different people, places and events. There seems to be no end to the stories for us to cover just when we think our well of ideas has run dry, it seems that someone comes to us with another suggestion.

We are surrounded by amazing people about whom to write. Sometimes they are people who do extraordinary things in an ordinary fashion and sometimes it's the other way around.

It's the people who make this business fascinating it's the faces and names in our newspaper. It's the names from long ago in Billie Aye's "Remember When" column; it's the pictures on the front of Matt Friedrichs' sports section; it's the lady down the street sewing hundreds of Christmas stockings for charities; it's the little girl in the barnyard hugging her goats.

It's the changes we're seeing in our communities. No longer is Tonganoxie the quiet little town off the beaten path. For better or worse, our city is growing.

It's the possible changes in our highway system changes that, while improving transportation, could cut wide swaths through our beautiful landscape.

It's the implication of what happens when a community's growth spurs the growth of industrial and commercial businesses in and around the city.

It's the worry that heinous crimes committed in the nearby city will stretch into our community.
It's the knowledge that there is a group of people who care, who are committed and who want to work together to make this community a better place.

It's school administrators, law enforcement officers and local government officials, all who are trying to keep up with the growth.

But more than anything, it's the total picture of a city in the midst of change.

In this "intricate kaleidoscope," we are but a small part of "the "shifting patterns" in the "eyepiece of a long, narrow but gradually widening tunnel." Whatever our purpose, whatever our goals, whatever our future, we at the Mirror, participants, yes, but moreover, observers to life and to the continuum of changes life brings, are here to record them for you.

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