“That’s all for now, folks!”

Dear Readers… To cut to the quick – whilst I have thoroughly enjoy conducting these interviews over the past three years, it is a weekly commitment that I feel I need to take a break from.
It has been a very interesting project indeed and one warmly received by subject and reader alike. Every single person I have interviewed has either shaken my hand or given me a hug at the interview’s conclusion, yet the majority, when initially approached by me, would ask, ‘Why would anyone want to read about me?’ or ‘My life has not been that exciting’, or something to that effect. This, I pointed out to them, is not at all true. Everyone has a story and this has been emphasized every week to me in person and undoubtedly to the very supportive readership of the column. Besides that, these interviews are not only providing people with a way to learn a little more about their neighbors and/or friends, but they also give the reader an insight to the Valley, its character, and its uniqueness.
Many, many people have told me how much they enjoy reading the interviews and getting to know someone a little more than they normally would by simply chatting briefly at the Post Office or in the local store. Bruce Anderson, the A.V.A. newspaper editor, perhaps put it best when he wrote, “Steve is introducing the Valley to itself.” That is my reward for doing this, along with the sharing of any fresh insights to the Valley’s history, it’s present, and the future.
Anyway, after much deliberation, I have decided to take a break from conducting and writing the interviews. I have done 146 in the last 155 weeks. I feel a little jaded and in need of re-charging my batteries. I have a list of over one hundred more Valley folks whom I have not got to, and there are no doubt others who I have not written down as potential candidates, but for now that is all I can do.
I wish to thank the many people far and wide who have sent comments regarding either their pleasure at reading about people they had lost touch with or other positive remarks about the interviews. I should like to express my gratitude to those in the local community both for their supportive remarks to me personally and for their many messages of encouragement upon reading these small windows into the Valley’s community from week to week. Most of all, I wish to thank the 146 interviewees to-date who have shared their stories with me and whose interesting and informative tales have provided so many of the A.V.A.’s readers with a wide variety of the ‘lives and times’ of Valley folks.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation for the support of the A.V.A.’s Bruce Anderson and Mark Scaramella throughout this project to-date.
Sincerely, Steve Sparks.

Published in: on January 14, 2012 at 7:06 pm  Leave a Comment