From my comment in the NYTs
|New York Time Interactive Page here|
The characters in this story by Berry could have been my neighbors or gone to school in my husband's high school. The Grandmother's that were pregnant in their teens have grandchildren that are pregnant teens. High school ball players are still living off their high school glory, some burned out by drugs or damaged in some other ways. The banker, lawyers and judges don't stand on ceremony...people mix in the red vinyle clad booths. The only hope for these place with high unemployment is the community college or the satellite campus from a distant University. I am talking about Eastern Oregon but the New York Times is talking about Elyria, Ohio. It really doesn't make any difference. It is all the same.
In the end though, people like you and me, seasoned and experience, know that change is always happening. If we are smart, we will adapt and find a newer version of our home town just so we can feel at home. Lots of us will cling to the important things like good books and friendship and tolerance. We will promote education and dream that technology will only get better. But all that is good and bad in small town American will keep on going...day after day.
The last paragraph in the story segment called A Promise to Keep Going talks about an old fashioned car show on the main street Donna sponsored with her own money said it all:
“One more time for Donna,” the bandleader says. “She works very, very hard.” Then, chuckling, he says, “Now get off the stage.”
The band closes with some Roy Orbison. A fleet of American-made beauties start their engines. And Donna Dove steps down from the stage to melt back into Elyria. (A Promise to Keep Going, NYT, Oct. 17, 2012)Don't we all...melt back in the streets of our hometowns? So here's to old cars and to dancing on Main Street to Roy Orbison until the end of time! And we should all wish Donna and her diner the best of luck. She is going to need it.