After a great conversation with my mentor, she encouraged me to use the resources I already have. So I started a facebook group and invited everyone I was connected with from my home area to give me examples of how our area has changed, big or small. Here are some of the first responses:
""Callahan Days"...a big part of my childhood that was canceled due to alcohol abuse/related issues"-- Abigail Zufelt
"While I did not spend my entire childhood in the valley I did experience a cultural shock moving from the city to Scott valley. One of the many positive things we experienced was the waving of complete strangers on Hwy 3. At first we couldn't understand why and who was waving at us as we drove our cars. We became concerned that we might have moved into a scene from the stepford wives. Eventually, we figured out people were just being friendly and probably mistook our vehicle for someone else they knew. As even more time went on we made lots of friends and recognized their vehicles and would always wave at correct/incorrect vehicles too! This however has changed over the years. I notice less and less waving. People these days seem much more in a hurry than before" Alex Kwasnikow
---And Lydia McElroy replied to Alex's comment saying---
" I was just having the same thought on the waving as I was driving down Eastside the other day. Another thing I have noticed is that while I grew up in Etna, there are more and more faces I do not recognize. Seems like there are more newbies than before... Of course by valley standards my family is still probably newbies, we've only been there 18 years."
"Bob's Ranch House and the Etna Brewery now have new owners, so I wonder if they'll change at all. There seem to be more live music events than when I was a kid. Many of my classmates have moved home or near home with their spouses/kids. I went to a few big gatherings and was struck by how all of the valley teens were on their cell phones not really socializing. I sound like an old lady, but I guess I expected less of that there. There is still nothing else out by the Shell Station where Etna's first and only Automated Teller Machine is (I heard a couple ladies refer to it that way). When they built the Shell Station and named that road Industrial Parkway, people were worried Etna was going to get overrun with city people. The State of Jefferson logo is still going strong on barn roofs, the new Etna Brewery t-shirt, flags, etc. My dad mentioned a big solar panel project that the school board was discussing. I find it funny when I see people from the valley who I haven't seen in years, but they know exactly what's going on with me. It used to be through my dad's clinic, but now it's through Facebook." --Kara Wilson
---And I noticed postings on a Facebook group for my hometown about a Farmers Market and Mac Whitman made this Reply--
"I think the one in FJ (Fort Jones) popped up sometime late 2000s as well. Then there is that cool pick your own fruit place. Which are all something that I wouldn't have completely expected out of the valley a while back." If you're interested in seeing the conversation as it progresses, or joining our group here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1439095413031320/