As 2012 draws to its end, I feel fortunate in many ways. Having survived the Mayan apocalypse, I am once again free to pursue my annual New Year's Resolutions with full vigor. In my youth, I grew up in a culture that saw family members and neighbors donate time to volunteering. Whether it was at PS 14, St. Mary's Church, CYO, scouts, summer baseball , or local civic groups their support of this resolution made an impact. As I look back, it was amazing how these small strides from my youth can become real game changers. Their making a resolution to take on an extra task or volunteering twice a month for a good cause can blossom into something more meaningful than first expected. In 2012 I continued this tradition. Old habits die hard. Since 1996 I have volunteered my time to a local lighthouse society. Since 1997 I have volunteered time to 'Spirit of America', a free student boating education program. Since 2000 I have donated many hours to Lake Metroparks programs. Taking on that extra chore or task for a good cause has made all the difference.
Random acts of kindness and even the smallest act of goodness creates change and does have a cosmic effect. So my first wish for all of you is to resolve! Make a meaningful resolution- something you can stick with. Take that first step. Perhaps contact your local historical society or park system. Volunteer - that way you can build on its success. Share your resolution with friends or family. This may motivate you to keep at it in 2013 when the going gets tough. It may even get others to join in your resolution.
Secondly pay tribute to your local historical organizations. Their contents, origins, library writings can provide you with a magical and seductive look into our county's past. The vast ocean of literature and information now available digitally - via e-books, the Internet. etc. - poses a serious threat to the future of these physical structures. These edifices and collections are likely to one day disappear, 'taking their phantoms with them.' If you have a passion for history - actual sites - actual books - resolve in 2013 to visit these organizations. More importantly - resolve to volunteer at these historical societies. Your gift of time is a meaningful gift. Your contribution will build on its success and may very well lead you to a better place.
Local Lore by Max will undergo a minor change in 2013. Entries will be posted once weekly, on either Monday or Thursday. Mentor's 50th Anniversary, Phantoms on the Bookshelf, and more hidden gems from Lake County will be featured. Remember we are - Ohio's smallest county with the most history.