Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Notes From My Knapsack 9-24-15

Notes From My Knapsack 9-24-15

Jeff Gill


Making a list, checking it twice



Apparently Granville has made some lists.


They are provoking some discussion, and perhaps more in line with the list-makers' intentions, causing some clicks on websites you'd never heard of. Nicely played, internet.


We're beautiful, and we're snobby. Or in the top ten of those categories. Perhaps.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is snobbery. We moved here the last week of 2004, and I have yet to run into snobbery. A little provincialism, but you can get that in Newark or Hebron or Buckeye Lake. No, I'm not from here, and effectively speaking never will be (when I lived in West Virginia, after my son was born, another non-native said to me at a party "Jeff, our kids will never be from here – I think it takes three generations for that to count"). But we've always felt included.


I think Norwich is beautiful, and Somerset, but I never see them on lists like this. Size, no doubt, and proximity to major traffic plays a role in these lists. Mount Pleasant is a refreshing surprise up above the Ohio Valley, and there's a small town up near Bowling Green I got routed through on a highway detour years ago I'd like to get back to when I can stop. Milan is delightful and often overlooked, almost due north of us but on the road to nowhere.


Granville probably deserves to be on lists that don't include us, or maybe it's more the case that some lists haven't been made yet that should be.


Top Ten villages where residents know how to pack a picnic basket for outdoor concerts: the summer GRC offerings on the Fine Arts Quad are always eclectic and enjoyable, with the enjoyment not always tied to the quality of the music. The fun is in seeing how people refresh themselves on their blankets and lawn chair clusters. Granville knows how to do this, whether it's fruit snacks and string cheese or paté and a nice Riesling.


Top Ten Fourth of July parades: I mean, c'mon. Why hasn't someone done this list, and why wouldn't we be on it? It's awesome. Even the politicians at the front are fun, and this year, one of them came back to the end to help me with the shovels trailing the horseback units (hat tip, Scott Ryan!). We may not have Rose Parade level floats, but as Linus would say about his pumpkin patch: they're the most sincere.


Speaking of pumpkins: Top Ten downtown Hallowe'en celebrations! Ours are entirely unofficial, door-to-door, indigenously originated, good fun festivities. Even the older kids know the boundaries (mostly) and enjoy their shaving cream finale with good cheer and exuberant high spirits.


Top Ten Christmas season observances: the Granville Candlelight Walking Tour, first Saturday of December, is awesome and delightful even when it's warm and not snowing. Candles, choirs, candy, carriages. When a gentle fall of flakes drape the luminary lit landscape (hat tip, Troop 65!), it is magical. 'Nuff said.


Top Ten Autumn landscapes: it's coming soon, and seriously, who can top us? College Hill's glories crowning the Broadway streetscape, the golden tunnel of Newark-Granville Road from Cherry Valley Road to Clear Run, the full fall spectrum across the Welsh Hills seen from Piper Stadium at a Denison football game. There's nowhere quite as beautiful as Granville from every angle in the height of autumn.


Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and pastor in Licking County; tell him what top ten list you'd put Granville on at knapsack77@gmail.com, or follow @Knapsack on Twitter.

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