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It is hard to believe now that history was one of my least favorite subjects in high school and college. Probably because it was so dull and seemed irrelevant at the time.

Coming to Calhoun County, where so many stories relate not only to my family, but also to friends, has changed my outlook.

My grandchildren have always looked forward to festivals. They have enjoyed doing interviews and writing articles for the paper. They have been attentive to the Moccasin Rangers Living History presentations. One granddaughter had tears in her eyes when they told of limited food available at that time and the fact that they had a hard cot and maybe no blanket, while she had a soft bed and fluffy comforter.

Just this weekend, three Calhoun alumni told me that they were not aware of Civil War activities in Calhoun County. They had been exposed to events in other places, such as Harpers Ferry and Wheeling, but not Calhoun.

When stories are related about the sparse wardrobe and how seldom clothing was washed, it was a wakeup call to appreciate our availability of water and washing machines. Even in 1980, a student told of carrying water from the creek, heating it for washing dishes, and then washing her hair with the same water.

Think, too, of how we communicate. Stories are told of villages where there was only one phone or none at all. If a doctor was needed, a neighbor would make the trip and the doctor would return to the ailing person. Calhoun ancestors were mostly farmers. They worked hard to keep the land, which was their only possession. Look out your window . . . most of our land is hill country, so you know this was not easy work.

My ancestors were German immigrants, who were mostly factory workers, shoemakers, and oil field workers. These people survived the depression, even though some lost their property because they could not pay taxes. Many did not have a high school education. The women kept the family together when the men were absent due to military service or working away from home. They did the usual “women’s work,” in addition to the men’s work and involvement in church and community.

When we know our background, we realize what our ancestors did to make sure our nation would survive. We must pass this spirit of survival on to our younger generations. We must do our best to make sure our children are familiar with our land and people. We can’t sit back and enjoy the privileges of our nation and our faith. We must be persistent in teaching our children that our nation is worth our involvement.

It will not be easy because it is a never ending challenge. We must start with local and family history and then move on to state, national and world history. Our involvement will never be finished in our lifetime. We must remember the past so we can improve the future. It can save our nation! Our children are worth it.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when they are older, they will not depart from it.” --Proverbs 22:6.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:


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