Another year is almost in the books. A new year is just around the corner. And in Boone County, it’s clear that 2012 was a time of happy moments for families, filled with laughter and time together.
For the community, looking ahead to 2013 is a bright new adventure, filled with opportunity. Take a few minutes and savor some memorable moments of 2012 with Boone Living magazine, all the while keeping an eye on the future.
Art Linkletter would have loved 5-year-old Zachary Johnson. Linkletter, for those not quite old enough to recall, pioneered reality TV in a far a kinder and gentler time. In his question and answer format with children, Linkletter proved that kids really do “say the darndest things.”
Just follow the transcript of this recent interview when Boone Living magazine asked Zachary what was the best thing that happened to him in 2012. Zachary came up with his own answer, despite a little helpful prompting from grandmother Debby Johnson. Here’s the interview:
Boone Living: “So what’s the best thing that happened to you this year?”
Grandma Debby: “That’s an easy one, isn’t it Zachary? What happened yesterday?”
Zachary: “I was sick yesterday.”
Boone Living: “Oh, that’s too bad, but what’s the best thing?’
Zachary: “NOT BEING SICK!”
We have to agree there, “not being sick is a very good thing,” but we had a hunch that something big also happened the day before this interview.
Boone Living: “Is there something else, Zachary?”
Zachary: “I had a baby brother… no a baby sister.”
Hmmm, do the readers suppose he was hoping for a baby brother? Oh well, Zachary confirmed that in the year ahead he is definitely looking forward to learning the ropes of being a big brother. After all, little sisters really do depend on big brothers some times.
Zachary is also looking forward to 2013 as a big year because he will start kindergarten in the fall as part of the Class of 2025.
As for his grandmother, Debby Johnson says the birth of that new granddaughter (Alanah Kay) is definitely the highlight of her 2012. She has 10 grandchildren, but most of them live in other states, so having both a grandson and granddaughter in Boone is a treat.
“We have four children, Zachary’s parents live in here Boone, and the others live Texas, California and Missouri,” she explains.
As for the year ahead, Debby’s hope is for a return to traditional values.
“I would like to see this country come back to its roots and values. I think if we get our spiritual condition in order, the nation as a whole will come back,” she says.
Riding the rails
Moving to Boone this year helped create Randy Loy’s best memory-making moment of 2012.
“I got to ride on the Scenic Valley Railroad this year,” Loy says. “I’d never done it before, and I’ve always wanted to do that. It was something that I really enjoyed.”
That relaxing ride over the rails in rural Boone County even helped bring back some memories from years gone by when passenger train service was a more convenient option for getting around the nation.
“As a kid, I traveled from here to Ohio and back on a train. I was about 7 years old, and we went through Chicago and up through to Cleveland. We lived up there, and we came back to see family,” Loy recalls.
Originally from Des Moines, Loy has enjoyed his first year living in Boone and is hoping for even brighter days ahead in 2013.
“I would actually like to see more growth here in Boone. I know they have a lot of potential things going on,” he notes.
Throughout the past month, he’s been enjoying meeting people and seeing the generous side of humanity as a Salvation Army Bell Ringer.
“You meet all kinds of people, and most people are very giving. Even people who don’t have much are giving. It’s a really good feeling,” he says.
Twenty years and still going strong
For Scott Smith, 2012 has been filled with memorable moments both personally and professionally. Perhaps the most important milestone came in the first week of December when he and his wife, Teresa, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Making it 20 years together is something that fewer and fewer couples accomplish, and Scott was looking forward to the occasion.
“There were three things that my brother told me right before the wedding in the Groom’s Closet: ‘Yes, Dear; I’m sorry, Dear; and How could I be so wrong, Dear,’ ” Scott recalls with a chuckle.
Looking back on that day 20 years ago, Scott is still a romantic.
“It snowed the night before, and it was just perfect,” he says with a smile.
On the professional side, Smith, as administrator for the Boone County Landfill, says the addition of the “Terminator” in their equipment line-up was a headline-maker.
“It came in on a truck from Nashville where it had been on display at a trade show. We were all out there lined up like kids waiting to unwrap a present. That was a fun day,” he says.
Looking ahead, Smith sees almost no limit to the positive things happening in and around Boone.
“I’m involved in a lot of different groups in Boone, and it seems like we have a lot of energy. I just think it’s going to be a great year next year to live in Boone and Boone County,” Smith says.
End the drought
Lois Powers has a short, simple and sweet answer to the question of her best moment in 2012.
Hands down, “The birth of my first grandson,” she says.
Grandson Aaron joins two granddaughters who will be lavished with attention from their grandmother in the year ahead.
Professionally, Powers serves as director of the Keep Iowa Beautiful Program at the Boone County Landfill and her wish for 2013 is something for the environment.
“I want to have another good River Romp next year,” she says.
The annual Romp invites area residents to help clean up the river and has been hugely successful in keeping the area in its most pristine state.
Her wish for 2013: “More water in the river,” is something that area farmers would quickly agree with. Rain and even snow continue to be desperately needed to end the drought and put area soils in better shape for the growing season ahead.
No place like home
Coming back home is always a good thing, and for Pam Schwartz, executive director at the Boone County Historical Society, coming home to Iowa proved to be the best thing that happened for her in 2012.
A Maquoketa native, Schwartz had spent the last two years studying at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, which for her was a great place for higher education, but not a great place to make a life.
“I was about 10 minutes from New York City, and I’m just not a city girl,” she explains. “It’s really nice to be back in small-town Iowa — it’s home, people are nice here.”
At Seton Hall, Schwartz completed her master’s degree in museum professions, which she is now putting to work as she digs in to the rich history of Boone and Boone County. And that’s what she’s most looking forward to in 2013 — helping the people of Boone rediscover and get in touch with the past.
“Boone is awesome. I was surprised, the more and more and I dig into it. Boone really has amazing characters in its past,” she notes. “We have something for everybody; people who have been part of important movements, wars, important women, even the founding of Boone is really interesting.”
Look to hear more from Schultz all year long as she helps bring the past to life for current day residents.
Weddings are always memorable moments, and for Jeanne Duffy her son’s wedding on Tybe Island off the coast of Savannah, Ga., on Sept. 30 was the best part of 2012.
“The wedding was fabulous. It was a beach wedding, not a lot of guests, but a lovely wedding party in a tremendous setting. It was a fairy tale wedding,” she says.
The island was a great place for family members to gather and celebrate the week together. With both her son and daughter now living in Charlotte, N.C., it’s no surprise that travel is what Duffy is most looking forward to in 2013.
High school years
The high school years are always memorable, and Tarron Streigle, Dakota Seiser and Killian Toro are three young men making the most of their sophomore year at Boone High School.
Streigle says it’s hard to choose just one moment as the best of 2012, but simply graduating ninth grade and starting his sophomore year is pretty sweet. In the year ahead, he’s looking forward to finishing a move to a new home in the Webster City area.
Seiser has a quick answer to his best moment: “Turning 16 and getting my driver’s license.”
For 2013, Seiser would like to get a job so he can buy a car and replace the 1999 Ford Contour that he’s now driving.
“It used to be my mom’s, so it’s not the best, but it gets me from A to B,” he says.
For Killian, running cross country on the varsity squad was the highlight of 2012. He hopes to run again next year and may also add soccer to his schedule.
The pursuit of education was the highlight of 2012 for Mary Conard-Long, who earned her AA in health administration from an online school. In the year ahead, she hopes to keep on learning and work toward a bachelor’s degree in health business management, also online.
Aerie Lachester and daughter Emilie, 3, prove that sometimes the simple things in life are the best memory-making moments. Looking back on 2012, Aerie says teaching her daughter how to swim provided laughter and lots of fun.
A mother of five, in 2013 she’s looking forward to more family-friendly activities, such as the Boone County Fair, Pufferbilly Days and simply taking longs walks in the local parks on sunny afternoons.