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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Basic Biitner: My Hometown

Monday, February 27, 2006

"Small towns" have a few characteristics that some people don't like, or feel they wouldn't like. True, most small towns have no large shopping malls , or even strip malls. They have no movie theaters , or if they do, it might not be open every day of the week, or every month of the year. They don't have nightclubs or other "hot spots" for entertainment.

These are some of the reasons some people say they would never live in a small town. HOWEVER, they are also some of the reasons that people who do live in small towns like them. These people also generally like peace and quiet, friendly neighbors, and personalized customer service from merchants who care. By the way, all of Cherokee County would qualify as "small town". One of the reasons people in the smaller towns have been resistant to school sharing with Cherokee is that the folks in the smaller towns have considered Cherokee as a "big town." Guess what, people - I've been working in Cherokee for 33 years now and, it, too, is a small town. But I digress.

The reason for this column is to celebrate small-town life, in particular my hometown of Aurelia. Most of you probably know that the town lost three of its long-time citizens in a tragic,weather-related car accident last week. The three women- Dorothy Harden, Elaine Bengtson, and Pauline Fierk- were all 80 years old, and still full of life. They, along with Jane Robar, who was injured in the accident, were members of an informal "Widows' Club" who enjoyed doing things together. They were on their way back from the Winnevegas Casino in Sloan, and had experienced a fun (and profitable) day when , within sight of Aurelia, the fatal accident occurred.

To illustrate how small a small town can be, I have five high school classmates (Class of '68) who were directly affected by the accident. Classmate Chuck Harden was Dorothy's son, and is married to the former Marilyn Winterhof, also a classmate . Another pair of AHS Class of '68 members, Elaine Bengtson's son Jim and the former Corinne Rath, are also married, and Jane Robar's son Steve was also a member of our class.

The three women also had children who were members of classes in close proximity to ours , and there were several classmates of their children who were in town this weekend to pay their respects. THIS is truly what a small town is all about. People are there for you in good times and in bad.

In closing, I leave you with a thought from Glen McCannon , AHS Class of '69. Glen says " In the midst of the community response to the recent tragedy, it occured to me that Aurelia isn't a small town, it's a large family."

Amen, Glen, amen.

I'm proud to be a member of the family.

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner