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It Takes a Village (Of Storytellers)


September 28, 2011 by wcobserver

Last week, one city official told an old story about a disastrous outdoor job involving dynamite. Like the best tales, it was slow-simmering, amusing and at its conclusion, everyone had a ripe-good chuckle. That story came on the heels of another anecdote about the misadventures of an old Winslow character.

Then there were the West Fork High School students in their journalism class. They were all a-chatter about the possibility of a certain, big business coming into town.

This is the kind of stuff that keeps Observerland alive-n- kicking – the little moments that help define the town’s history and character. And that’s what The Observer wants to capture!

The previous incarnation of The Observer collected some of these old stories in their pages. One collection, “Who Killed Belle Starr?” recorded the most tantalizing murders and mysteries that occurred near the tail-end of the 19th century.

The adventures of local residents didn’t stop as we all got closer and closer to present day, and we want to keep that tradition of storytelling alive. If you’ve got a good yarn, we’d love to hear it. You can mail it off, send it via the interweb or just come over and give us an oral history. Although, if you could avoid using messenger pigeons we’d appreciate it, as we never fully cleaned up and recovered from the last flock.

A newspaper without reader-submitted thoughts and stories in its pages is about as useful as a 14-year-old girl’s Hello Kitty diary, and slightly less entertaining. If you’ve got a tale the whole town would love or want to let us know what you think of things we report on, we want to hear it.

On our end, we’re going to try and get the conversations started with occasional prompts at the end of articles. For instance, this week we report that West Fork’s new digital library system is in place. At the end of the piece, we ask readers to send us their experience with and thoughts about the program.

Your comments don’t have to be long, or even pitch-perfect – we just want to help you get that conversation out to the whole community. The story of our small community is made up of a patchwork of voices, help us stitch it all together.



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