Thursday, January 26, 2006

St. Vincent Native Responds...

A St. Vincent expatriot contacted me yesterday out of the blue. It was great hearing from someone, and to know that I'm touching people with the town history. That is one of my main goals with this project...
Dear Trish:
I don't know if you remember me. I am from St. Vincent...I just stumbled across your St. Vincent website and it brought up such a well of emotions. I think of St. Vincent a lot...I was a bit of an outcast in school -- the one that everybody picked on -- so when I graduated from high school, I left town and never looked back. But St. Vincent never left my heart and it makes me so incredibly sad to see it disappearing before our very eyes. The...Humboldt School is no more, the Sylvester's store building is gone and there's not even a post office anymore. I always say, only half joking, that today I know more people in the St. Vincent Cemetery than I do in the actual town. It's scary to think that it can all go away, like we never even existed. So to see your web site warmed my heart, to know that someone actually cares enough to keep the memory alive.

I have a St. Vincent de Paul medallion (St. Vincent was named after him) that I wear constantly as a reminder of "home." When I purchased it at a Bible book shop, the clerk asked me If I wanted it blessed. The priest looked at it and said, "St. Vincent dePaul -- he's my patron saint," to which I replied, "Oh yeah? Well he's my home town!" I have to laugh when people here refer to [censored for privacy] as a "small town." They don't know what a small town is!!!!!

By the way -- I have a set of very old salt and pepper shakers that belonged to your Grandmother Fitzpatrick. I bought them at a rummage sale at her house...They are small, in the shape of an elongated square that flares out at the bottom. The bottom half is painted a sort of periwinkle and the tops are a rose pink with delicate flowers and leaves.

Anyway, I've bent your ear enough for one evening. Keep up the good work on the web site. I haven't had a chance to look over every aspect of it, but certainly plan to...
I responded with this...
You're the first person (besides Mike Rustad, but he's been writing to me for a long time now about home stuff, before I started the website...he's a law professor back east now!) to write and let me truly know what you think. I LOVED IT! *smile*

Yeah, I know just what you mean about the town slowly disappearing before our eyes. My Mom said that very same thing when I was a little girl 40 years ago, and I didn't understand, but I do now. St. Vincent was a much busier place than what we remember, when she was young back in the 1920's and 1930'. My Grandma Fitzpatrick, of course, remembered the 'boom time' in the 1880's and 1890's when everything seemed possible.

While St. Vincent per se is a ghost of what it once was, the spirit is still there, and I'd like to let people know, it was there, it's still there, and there is a legacy not only about St. Vincent but the whole area up there that made a difference in many people's lives. Not only that, but those people went on to make a difference in other people's lives.

I will be periodically updating the St. Vincent website, at LEAST once a week, if not more so be sure and continue stopping by. By the way, I have comments enabled on the St. Vincent site for each entry, and you can even comment annonymously if you want, so feel free to comment...

Trish