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Thankful for a look into the past

By Staff | Jul 22, 2016

What a joy it was for us at The Chronicle office this week to receive a visit from Charles Vanmetre, who stopped in to pay his subscription and took the time to chat awhile.

Mr. Vanmetre is a long-time resident of Shepherdstown–one who was born here, moved away during his career years and who has now returned.

And what a fount of local knowledge he has brought back with him!

He spent time chatting and sharing stories of times gone by when folks all knew each other and each other’s business. He spoke of socializing at the post office (sharing that the offer of home delivery was turned down because people loved that social atmosphere).

He knew names of people long passed and which homes they lived in; how they were related to others around town and so much more.

He made me realize the importance of recording local history and folklore before all those who know the details are gone.

Kudos to those who take the time to write down or record those in our communities who know all of the details of long-ago. While some of it (or maybe a lot of it) may be trivial, it sure is entertaining and it does bring back those nostalgia days where things were so much better. (Albeit only in our minds as, yes, there were “issues” ‘way back’ also but those don’t surface so much in our memories.)

I would encourage all who have the opportunity to listen to parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors about the lifestyle of yesterday’s Shepherdstown to do so. Learn from it–laugh at it or cry with those telling it. It is all an important part of each of our lives.

And as for Mr. Vanmetre, we are so thankful for his visit to our little office and we look forward to him stopping in again to share more of his remembrances. The stories are lively and we welcome hearing more of them!

We extend that invitation to any others who wish to share with us as well. While we may not, at that moment, be working on a “history” piece, it does so much to give us a sense of Shepherdstown from its early days and what has led it to be the unique and colorful town it has evolved into today.