Nothing like a flavorful story about your alma mater to get the nostalgic juices flowing. Two weeks ago, The Athens News posted Athens, Ohio: The Town That Never Sleeps, which was a “diary” of a typical Saturday spent uptown. How’s this for Wednesday Wisdom:
“Where does the time go? It goes on your walk to class and into the small talk on the street corner. Time disappears in daydreams, waiting for your bagel to toast, and in line at the bar bathroom. This 24 hours was only one of the approximately 108,576 Saturdays Athens has seen during its 210 years as a college town. Every generation that filters through Athens finds that the specifics of time don’t matter, but rather the stories and memories time becomes. Soon these crazy nights will be Athens history, whether you can remember them or not.”
The article is colorfully written, truly giving any stranger a picturesque glimpse of the small town they’ve never seen, while also sparking photographic memories for those of us who lived there and witnessed these exact scenes.
At the same time, the article infuses historical facts about Athens and Ohio University. At 10 a.m.: “The J Bar has flooded. Pools of soapy water spill onto the street, much like the countless floods of the nearby Hocking River…” and at 11 a.m.: “The tour is made up of about 14 students, the same amount that graduated in the class of 1812, when tuition meant bartering hogs and cattle to pay one’s room and board.”
It is this mixture of a town with centuries of history with the changing generational tides of students that makes Athens so unique and beloved. A fantastic story on an even more wonderful place. Is it any wonder we might hope freeze in that time forever?