Opinion: Learn from the past

By Julia Esber — Many neglect to understand what an important role history plays in our lives. Learning the history of our community teaches us how things turned out the way they are. Not only that but it is interesting to know what used to lie on the very grounds we walk on each day.

Sophomore Olivia Holland and myself recently went to the home of Jim Stevens, a member of the Plain Local community since 1946. He reminisced on the memories he lived as a young man, the buildings and businesses that once existed on Middlebranch and also the story behind some of the places that otherwise go unnoticed.
For example, the fiberglass building at the intersection of Diamond and Middlebranch used to be a grocery store owned by Mary Cope about 70 years ago. It was called “Middlebranch Supply,” and sat directly across from “Jim’s Diner,” Stevens’ restaurant which no longer exists.

Knowing the little things that took place before we lived here helps us appreciate it a little more. I will always drive by the railroad tracks at Diamond and Middlebranch and think about the diner that was once there.

Stevens also told us about the history of Holly Hills, something so common every person in Plain Township has surely heard about. The history is nothing extravagant, simply too many boys kept trying out for teams and when 250+ boys were turned down to be a part of the 15 member team, they decided to make a league of their own. Stevens’ sons were some of the first to be a part of those teams.

The story may not seem like much but how many times do you think about the history of something so common and prevalent such as Holly Hills? Realizing it came from a small team of 15 boys to an entire league of teams ranging in all ages is astonishing.

Speaking to Stevens was like a flashback to a simpler time and an easier life; one in which the important things in life were stressed more so than the fast paced society we run to keep up with.

Understanding where you come from and what life used to be like can helps us realize the significance of the small things in our town. Treasuring such ideas puts meaning into something once irrelevant to us.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]