Looking ahead requires special lens

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I was having a discussion with a coworker the other day, who was of the younger persuasion, and was unfamiliar with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the involvement of Lee Harvey Oswald.

During the course of the discussion, we veered off into the tragic history of the Kennedys, and it came to light that not only did he not know that JFK’s brother Robert also was assassinated, but he was uninformed about anything to do with Ted’s travesty.

In another conversation, this time regarding the local historical commission and a recent presentation about the proposed high-speed rail, items of historical significance also were brought up, mostly because the proposed route will affect several areas of significance to Madison County residents.

It put me to mind of a thought that has been plaguing me for many years, and that is of a remarkable impermanence of things in this country.

Think about it. This country will be only 242 years old next month, so anything historical relating to that won’t be that old.

Even so, the settlements from earlier centuries are mostly gone. There’s really not that much here, not like it is in Europe or Asia, where there is thousands of years of history that is revered.

Houses elsewhere get passed down through generations. Here, we largely get tired of our kitchens after a few years and remodel. Very little effort is expended keeping structures of historical significance alive; knock it down and build on top of it seems to be the way to go.

Even small things like household wares and furniture are largely 50 to 100 years old, infants in the grand scheme of things.

In yet another conversation, while working on a story regarding the Madisonville Cemetery, it was remarked that a local dignitary lamented the fact that so much local and Texas history was not being taught to the younger generations. Take that, and the lack of permanence of things from days gone by, and you have a country more mired in the need for new and shiny than in the great journeys that have led us to where we are.

Past is prologue; present is now. The future will take care of itself if we but take care to remember.

•Our Headline of Note comes from a favorite haunt of mine, breitbart.com: The Times: Churchgoers Live Six Years Longer on Average.

Nothing really wrong with that, now is there?

See, this is something we’ve always know, especially around these parts, but has been lost on people who believe they’ve educated themselves out of the majesty of religion.

Maybe that bit from our past should be our present, and future, too.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.

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