my small obsession

by Susie Applegate

I began to delve into the local history as I had never desired to in my school days. Suddenly, these people, and this history had become a feverish fascination that led me to spend hours in the archives of city hall, and in Germaine’s small library next door. ChurchIt took me a while to realize that a hundred and fifty years of The Truth lay yellowing in Daddy’s basement, where I could access it 24/7. There is no need to disturb Mom and Dad, since the basement has an outside door, and Daddy was more than happy to give his only child a spare key. Still, after my first all nighter, Mama discovered me in the morning, fast asleep on a stack of newspaper.
 
    “Susie,” she admonished, “your father, your grandfather, and your great grandfather have been married to that damn newspaper. You don’t need to sleep with it, too. You know, the spare room is always waiting.”
 
    “Yes, Mama,” I said, and dutifully promised to make my way upstairs the next time my eyelids became unbearable under the weight of all that late-night history. I love my mom dearly, but I become a little girl again in the presence of those scolding brows, and avoidance of this helpless feeling of subordinance is precisely why I moved out in the first place.
 
    Figuring out how I fit into this picture, into this newspaper and this history, has not been easy. When I came back to town, The Germaine Truth was floundering, and it still is. I suggested to Dad one day that we put it online and bring it into the modern world. It took some convincing. Dad has his ways, and one of them is to always reject any new idea, immediately, without hesitation. When he finally came around a few weeks later, I promised to set things up and train mama in putting the copy online. Mom has been a fast learner, and things went fairly smoothly, although I have to admit that sometimes we don’t get articles out in a timely manner, and there are any number of holes in the news coverage.
 
    After I had our news site set up, I volunteered to put up the archives. My new-found interest in Germaine’s history made this a perfect match, and now my hours spent in daddy’s archives have a more justifiable purpose, at least in the minds of certain individuals who feel that I need one.

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