Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The greatest gift of all

I was speaking with a subject (or victim) of a recent Townie Tuesday column, and she said to me, "You're a townie wannabe!"

That would be correct, madame, I had to confess.

So when I was talking last week with Jack and Fran Ronan in what will likely be the last of my Townie Tuesday columns for Newburyport Today, it wasn't surprising that we spent nearly 2 hrs. together for a 300-word column.

I always think these stories are going untold, but then I remember that our own historian, Jean Doyle, is getting as many of them as she can for the second volume of "Life in Newburyport."

You know, I guess I just assumed that all the old family farms were off by the Common Pasture ... until I was writing about Jack Ronan. And what a laugh we had about the horse getting stuck under the railroad bridge because the hay rake it was attached to was too high - man, I don't even know these kinds of stories from my own family!

What a great sense of the city I have received, a gift to me from natives of Newburyport who in most cases invited me into their homes and who all made me feel welcome here in their city.

I was just speaking with Roseann Robillard, director of the Council on Aging, and she called it "a labor of love." All of this and all of that - interviewing candidates for office, for example - was my gift to Newburyport for 2009.

I got so much in return (I also got some heartache, but that goes with the territory, I guess) ... yesterday as I was standing in line at a store, the woman in front of me turned around and said, "And there's our TV lady."

The best part was the "our."

Thanks, everyone!

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