This holiday, I would like to detour away from my usual zany madcap humor and take a moment to plant a stake in the ground for sentimentality. As is the case with many of you, Newtown is not just a headline in the newspaper for me. Many of my friends have been affected by the events directly, which makes the heartache all the more difficult to work through, especially during what is supposed to be a season of joy.
The news and internet are full of moving tributes to the victims that are worth embracing. Songs have been written, speeches spoken, and humbling monuments to their memories crafted.
I can offer you none of that. For those who have never visited my parent’s house in Brookfield, it’s a mere mile or two from the Newtown border. So what I can offer you is a glimpse of how I saw Newtown through my eyes growing up. And for those of you who know the town fondly, there’s a good chance you shared some of those memories with me. Don’t let this tragedy erase them.
For starters, to even try and list Newtown’s landmarks would be a time consuming folly; let it suffice to say they are numerous and all worthy of mention. So I’m just going to highlight one of the most critical to my childhood… Edmond Town Hall.
Edmond Town Hall is a second-run movie theater that shows $2 films. Of all the places in Newtown, it’s the brightest memory for me. You understand now why I told you not to expect a compelling tribute to the efforts of heroes, nor a lasting sculpture to the importance of love. As Gandalf says in the Hobbit, “I’ve found it is the small things, every act of normal folk that keeps the darkness at bay â€” simple acts of kindness and love.”
I originally drew this for myself… a way to remember a refuge from my youth that charged me $2 for a film and $.25 for goobers. I don’t want those memories to be diminished. I was able to see Lord of the Rings multiple times on a budget thanks to that place. It helped me develop into the cutting edge movie critic I am today. After some thought, I decided it would be right to share this small thing with all of you.
As you spend time with your loved ones this holiday, don’t forget to celebrate the small things. They may seem mundane, they may seem trivial. Believe me, nothing is trivial.