So this is a blog. If you are over, say, 30 years of age you probably have a child who can explain computers to you. We have such a son. Our #2 son, Nathan, is something of a computer guru. And, since I do some work at his business, people think I know something about computers. I do not. I can only "blog" as long the good people at the Brazil Times continue to humor me and turn this stuff into Internet wiz.
"Long enough to cover the subject, short enough to be interesting." This is the challenge laid down as I begin to write observations of the county and state that has come to be more "home" than any place I'd been before coming to Brazil. I must begin with a certain amount of disclaimer: I am well aware my need of the disciple of actually writing something on a regular basis is much greater than anyone else's need to read it.
It seems the place to begin is at the beginning. This is me, who I am and what I bring to the game.
Time flies when you're having fun, enjoying life and being who and where you are. The twelve years since we moved to Indiana have gone too swiftly. We were told a fellow has to live in Indiana ten years before he could claim to be a "Hoosier". But I adopted Brazil, Indiana as my hometown the day we moved here and hope to never leave. In fact I fully expect to be buried here (in the very distant future).
I sincerely hope to bring a unique viewpoint of life in Clay County. Perspectives many miss. I had lived most of my life in St. Louis, Missouri. And, if you did not grow up in north St. Louis you cannot completely appreciate the differences between living there and here. For a good part of my life the houses were thirty-six inches apart. A walkway to our backyard on the east side, a walkway to their backyard to the west. So close and somehow you never knew anyone. Over the years schools became so dangerous guards must now patrol their halls. Yes, you could still walk on the streets at night, but not around the block.
People ask how we happened to come to Brazil; to them I propose this question: Your youngest is about to enter a big city high school and you get the chance to come to a small town in Indiana with the unlikely name of Brazil, what would you do?
When this move was first proposed the worst was imagined. Would there be only shacks in the land of "Hoosiers"? Will they have running water? What we found was a very comfortable home at the crossroad of the best of all possible worlds: Over half an acre of yard bounded on the rear by a cornfield. Have you ever watched corn grow? Fascinating, particularly if you didn't know the stuff grew on stalks. At our front door we could watch, and occasionally smell, the cows graze. My wife and I are probably the only ones left in Indiana still excited about seeing deer in the road. At sixty plus years of age I can truthfully say I have never been happier or more content any place else.
Which leads, I hope, to the things about which I may choose to write. My daddy said you can play the game by any rules you want, as long as those rules are known before the game begins. So, these are my rules as I begin writing of what I see:
First, I've never been a good reporter or researcher. Most of what I write I think of as prose written in essay form. Probably the reason very little of what I write is ever read by anyone.
Second, one of my great failures in life has been a failure to be politically correct. Instead I tend to be too honest for anyone's good. Unfortunately this will continue.
Third, I am neither a leader nor a very good follower. Most of what I do is observe and keep an incredibly lot of irrelevant facts in my head. My observations and mistaken memories are what I write.
Them am the rules. Let the game begin. At least by now I'm officially a Hoosier.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.