This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, December 28, 1994

December 28, 1994 - "Parker: a Folk History"

This is the time when you look both backward (the end of one year) and forward (the dawn of another).

As I look back over 1994, I can't help but notice that the library branch that's at the center of Douglas Public Library District action, the branch that's hot and happening ... moves around. At the beginning of the year, the Highlands Ranch Library was getting a face lift and expansion. In the latter part of the year, we managed to both purchase a new Parker Library (to open in 1995) and sell the old one (to Parker Water and Sanitation District).

In years past, our efforts have focused more on the Oakes Mill and the Philip S. Miller Library. Their time will come again.

I find it helpful to recognize patterns, to understand that every institution, and each of the smaller institutions that make it up, has its own distinct rhythms, its hours of glory alternating with spans of more modest accomplishment.

This is as it should be. After all, even Olympic athletes are asleep about a third of their lives. Rest, too, is a part of achievement.

Besides, the real turning points in people's lives aren't necessarily the things that hit the papers. Those moments happen behind the scenes, in the back rooms, when only one or two people are looking.

The story of all these moments -- both glorious and quietly key -- is the larger story of history. It's what history means -- the folk lessons along with the dry chronologies.

These days, the Town of Parker is hot and happening. What better time then, to reflect on the days that came before?

On January 8, 1995, local author Sandra Whelchel will be the guest speaker for the Douglas Public Library District's Second Sunday Series talk. We're calling this one, "Parker, Colorado: A Folk History."

If you haven't attended one of our previous Sunday Series talks, then it's time you gave it a look. All are held at the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, beginning at 2 in the afternoon. (We hold it at Castle Rock in part because there's more meeting space, and in part because it also houses our still young Local History Collection.)

Our first session for this round, back in November, was on the history of Perry Park, and featured local author Ardis Webb. Our third and final Second Sunday Series lecture (on March 12) will be "Castle Rock: A Grassroots History," by another local author -- Robert Lowenberg.

Who knows? By the time March rolls around, it just might be Castle Rock's time of tumult (and I don't just mean earthquakes). Be sure to pencil in both dates in your spanking new, 1995 calendars.

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