This week, the local newspaper which published this column ceased pulication in its 145th year. I have a lot of thoughts on this, which I will probably share in the future. After writing 31 editions of the “Look at Lonoke” newspaper column, I briefly took a break back in the spring to fully embrace a number of local organizational commiments, thinking that there would be a date in the future when I would resume my contributions to the publication. My assumption was incorrect. As it turns out, March 21, 2018 was the last print edition of the “Look at Lonoke” column in the Lonoke County Democrat Newspaper. Five months later, August 29, 2018 would be the final edition of the newspaper itself.
For now, I will limit my reflections to the following observations:
A word of sincere gratitude to Editor Jeremy Peppas for providing space for what was, essentially, my own opinion on the overlooked people, places, and potential of our hometown of Lonoke. His support and the creative freedom that he provided me will always be appreciated. I hope that the work that we did together was a meaningful addition of hyper-local content for the season that this column was produced. Jeremy writes an Editor’s Note with his own reflections in the paper’s final issue that I hope you will read.
Finally– economics, technology, and consumerism being what they are, may the people and the built fabric of our town never be cast aside in the way that our hometown paper has been. Every neighborhood and every neighbor in Lonoke matters. This place matters. That is the constant theme of this column. However, we must neither lose sight of the lessons of our history, nor the vision for our future, if we hope to become a more vibrant Lonoke, full of life, love, and opportunity.
And so we embrace that hope.
And, for old time’s sake, we pay a visit to the good folks at the Museum of Lonoke County and spend a few hours browsing the Lonoke Democrat newspaper archives. We owe it to our predecessors, and our children to have a well-rounded perspective of this moment in Lonoke’s history.
Thanks for taking a look at Lonoke. The best is yet to come.