Another Point of View

Aug 12, 2010 | 2 comments

“Oysterville” by Sydney Stevens

     It’s no secret that I like history.  I read history; I write about history; I talk history.  I realize that not everyone shares my interest, so I try not to foist my thoughts upon all and sundry.  Even so, every once in awhile I run up against a challenge to my incredulity and the resulting disagreeable thoughts that want to bubble forth.  Here is a case in point:
     The other day as I entered a local establishment, I came across an acquaintance thumbing through my new book, Oysterville.  She was looking briefly at the pictures, not stopping long enough to read the text, and she paused to say to me, “All this stuff is dead.  It’s old news.  Just history.”
     “Yes,” I replied.  “It’s an Arcadia publication.  Their books are about history.”
     “Well,” she said, “I have an idea. Are you ready for a new idea?”
     “Sure,” I said, wondering if I really was.
     “What you should do is write a book about Oysterville today.  Now.  The way it is in 2010.”
     “I don’t think Arcadia does contemporary books,” said I.  “And, besides, what would I write about?   The fourteen of us who live in Oysterville?”
     We laughed and paused, each with our own thoughts about present-day Oysterville.  Mine involved what I might say about today’s village without immediately getting into the “dead stuff” again.  After all, there is a reason that we are a National Historic District, beginning with the number of structures that date back to the pioneer days.
     It might be fun to write about all of us  twenty-first century ‘characters’ who live here but that would probably be risky business in this day of instant litigation.  Ditto writing about the various controversies that erupt in a small community like Oysterville.  Yes, I thought, I don’t know what I could possibly write about if the subject were “Oysterville Today.”
     My reverie was interrupted as the woman said, “Oh you’d find something to say.  You always do.”  And the conversation faded away as she replaced the book on the shelf.
     I found that for once I really didn’t have anything to say. 


  1. Betty

    Remember that there are many people who enjoy the smooth, calm & humorous way you write. As a mid-westerner most of our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of going West or rising in the morning to see the sea. I consider myself lucky to have had the privilege of visiting Oysterville. I tell all my friends if they get the chance..go visit and meet the “eleven” or so people who live there year round. Learn a little history about a place that seemed almost make believe. Then come back and say “if only”…

  2. Stephanie Frieze

    Well, Sydney, you ought to have told her to read your blog if she was wondering what life in Oysterville is like in 2010. If something mysterious happens in Oysterville I would expect you to write about it, but the rumor mill up there seems to take care of communications. I share your love of history and as far as I’m concerned you can just keep writing about it….Please!


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