Thursday, June 1, 2000
You can go home again!
by Dr. Lucile Estell
My Hometown . . . When I return . . . the main street still is filled with pleasant faces and glad hellos . . . with an atmosphere of calm . . . with time for neighborly concern . . . with joy in sharing another's fortune . . . or heartfelt words to one who mourns. . . . Hometown is more than just a town . . . it is a way of life, a place of peace and quiet . . . and when I return it is as if I have never been gone . . . and in my heart I have not. . . . by Craig E. Sathoff
Some learned person once wrote "you can't go home again." That's a saying I've heard all my life. I'm not sure I agree with it.
Rather, I believe that a desire to return home, go back to your roots is a desire that most of us feel at some time. The feeling intensifies around this time of year as Rockdale, like many other communities all over Texas, approaches its annual homecoming celebration.
I had an occasion this past week to step backward about 50 years to a place which was my home for two years.
As I turned down a familiar street, past familiar structures -- yes, a school was there -- I slipped into the evening of my memory and there once again saw familiar faces, young and enthusiastic, eager to learn.
I saw the smiles of the human landscape, the people who then composed the fabric of my life. I recalled so many names, Robert, Peggy, Juan, Andrea, so many others, and for a few special moments I was there again.
These memories are a part of my life, a part of what makes me who I am, a part of the fabric of my life.
As we approach this homecoming in Rockdale, I hope that you can take the time to go back in your memory and think of the people and events which have made Rockdale great.
- Go down to the old depot and remember the days when it was an active place. Hear the hustle and bustle as the trains come and go.
- Walk north on Main Street from the depot and perhaps you'll see Dr. Barkley walking toward his office.
- You may see the activity of stores opening at Vogel's or Stricker's.
- Look across Cameron Avenue and see what's playing at the Dixie Theatre.
- Move on down Ackerman Street and see (in your memory only) the old Lockett home, residence for many years of Mrs. Sledge who wielded such a powerful influence over so many young people as she taught them piano.
- Look toward Main Street and you will still see standing the garage of Buck Henry, who for so many years epitomized the values which are Rockdale.
Think of those many friends who are no longer with us and remember the part they played in weaving the fabric of your life.
If the things that you see, and the emotions that you feel, make you happy, bring these with you to the annual homecoming on the 2nd Sunday in June.
What you bring with you will combine with what others bring and assure that we will have the best homecoming ever.
You can go home again.