Two simple ideas for this site…let’s see where they go

Along with 8,354 others, give or take a few comin’s and goin’s, I live in the town of Fairview, Texas. 31 miles north-north east of Dallas; 28 as the google maps crow flies.

Two simple ideas lay behind the creation of this website.

First:

Fairview is small, both in terms of population and geography. It’s a little less than nine square miles, with borders that are, on three sides at least, fairly discrete–Stacy Road to the south, FM1378 (or “Country Club Road” as the county assessor apparently sees it) to the north, and a big freeway to the west. The combination of these factors–a small population in a more or less clearly bounded space–provide an opportunity, it seems to me, to capture a fairly complete and accurate picture of an entire town’s collective views and opinions, on any number of topics. So this is the first idea–that we have at least the opportunity, to solicit and to make a bit more concrete, the collective view(s) of an entire town of people. What those topics are, and what our collective views and opinions on them are, remain to be seen. You can use your imagination as to what they might include. Some of the obvious and usual suspects are politics, religion, schools and education, taxes, etc–you know, the kinds of things that 1) you’re not supposed to talk about in public, and that 2) all the members of the public want to talk about. Some of the less obvious topics–and, optimistically, the much more interesting and unique-to-Fairview ones–are what I hope to uncover, and publish here.

Second:

We need more history, and more stories–of people, places and events, about the past, present, and future of this place. On the town’s website there are a few paragraphs on town history–three to be exact, totaling 441 words. Also on the site is a message from the current Mayor, Mr. Darion Culbertson, who notes that “even our 7-11 is different, boasting a front porch and a stained glass window set into a rustic stone wall.” With due respect to the Mayor, if we’re using the local 7-11 to show what’s unique and interesting about this place, it means there’s a lot of important work to do. This is not so much a critique of their efforts, as it is of my own, or lack thereof–until now. In the weeks since I launched site, I’ve already begun to find a good number of stories, but they are scattered in various places, usually on sites dedicated to neighboring locales. Geographers and historians draw important distinctions between ‘space’–a physical location–and ‘place’–that which gives meaning to a space. Spaces are identified and described on maps, and place is the connection you feel to a particular space; place is the identity, the feel, the vibe, of a space. The second idea of this site, then, is to make a least a small contribution to rounding out, and filling out, the place of Fairview, Texas. I invite you to join me.