In all communities, there is a kind of history that will never be included in textbooks or any formal recording. Instead, this kind of history will only be passed down through word of mouth between friends, family members and generations.
Ever since I started studying history seriously in college, I’ve found myself fascinated by this oral history and its effect on our culture and identity.
I began thinking about this again over the last week after writing a story on the closure of Hubbard Furniture in Denison after nearly 70 years of business. The owner, Marcus Hubbard, said he plans to sell the 120-year-old building once the business closes.
While talking to him, Hubbard would often trail off into other topics. I had to fight my inner history buff and go back to the task at hand several times, especially when he talked about his grandfather’s grocery store, which would deliver groceries via horse-drawn cart. If I hadn’t, I could have seen myself sitting there taking in the local history for hours.
With regards to this kind of history, I am left with a paradox. Part of me wants to record these stories to ensure that they are available to future generations. At the same time, I know that part of the appeal and value comes from the spoken nature of it and who is delivering the story.
I’ve been thinking about this recently with regard to the region’s aging veterans. The soldiers who once served our country in foreign theaters are not growing younger and some day they will leave us. When that comes, all those years of experience and history could be lost.
With them countless stories and an insight into events that shaped our world will be gone forever. While it goes against the nature of the beast, it’s these parts of oral history that should be preserved.
Happy birthday Saturday to Bobbie Mullins of Sherman; AJ Polk Jr. of Denison; Ethan Tillett of Tom Bean; Thea Frederick of Denton; Maekynzi Lawhorn of Colbert, Oklahoma; and Kenneth Ray Mick of Richmond, Virginia.
Happy anniversary Saturday to Robert and Reba Gattis of Southmayd, 67 years; Steve and Sherry Allison of Howe, 37 years; Steven and Lori Ann Johnson of Knollwood, 32 years; and Donnie and Angie Quick of Chesapeake, Virginia, 28 years.