Making history every day

Jam of the Week: “Spirit in The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum

I recently had the pleasure of bumping into dear friend, local historian and longstanding Daily Freeman-Journal contributor Nancy Kayser. Even though I’m usually running around town trying to do as much as I can during the day, I don’t mind sparing some time for Nancy. She always has something interesting to talk about.

Of course, what’s interesting in Webster City right now is what’s going to come to our community in less than two weeks. That’s RVTV. Last year’s event was so busy, so fun, so frantic for me to cover it all. It was certainly something to remember, but until I last spoke with Nancy, I didn’t think of how historic an event like RVTV is.

I specifically started talking about it with her after she brought up a specific photo I took at last year’s event. You’ve probably seen it. The image captures a sea of people crammed in downtown which was featured on the front page of the paper and is on the cover of the Webster City Area Activities Guide.

To get that photo, I asked Juan Trujillo if I could climb on top of his red party bus which was parked perpendicular to Second Street in downtown. Squatting on top of the curved roof of the bus, more worried about falling off than getting a good shot, I snapped my camera a few times and hopped off. Luckily, one turned out very well.

Nancy brought up the photo when we talked about the event because, as a local historian, she said that picture was a historic photo. While I trust Nancy’s expertise, I still initially thought that claim was a bit dramatic. My history classes focused more on presidents and wars, not guys with questionable balance taking photos on vehicles.

However, I realized I was being self-centered. Webster City’s RVTV brought out more people than any other city’s event in its history. I just happened to have the chance to get a good photo of it. Really, I have that unique chance to capture history by working at the paper. Even if it’s not something that a child will read about in a school history book, I’m capturing history every day.

More importantly, you and everyone around you is creating history every day. Decades, centuries into the future, someone might write a history story about RVTV in Webster City. They might write about the Webster Theater, local service groups or record-setting feats at the Hamilton County Fair. In this process of the present turning to the past and into history, I’m just a recorder. It’s the time, the money, the sweat, the effort that people around me put into their community that make history happen.

Thanks to everyone gives of themselves to help make history every day, in both big and small ways. Thanks for what you do for the community, and thanks for letting me be a part of it.