Wed, Feb 21, 2018 05:20 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-10-29 communities
Small World
Guest commentary
by Mylinda Johnson | Contributing columnist

Recently, I was speaking with a friend from the Mayo Campus of the Big Sandy Community & Technical College you may know the old goat, Roger Owens. Now, I have known Roger for several years and have always liked him, believe it or not! A few years ago, I was amazed to find out that I had attended high school with Roger's daughter, Libby. If you do not know them, they are very nice people!

I will skip now to my work. Last year was our first ever-Crafty Christmas Bazaar on the Prestonsburg Campus at which we had many crafters set up. One of those was Bryan Auxier, author of Where Have All the Dragons Gone? and a super nice person. When I met Bryan at the bazaar, I knew that he looked familiar. As it turns out, Bryan is a fourth-grade teacher at Paintsville Elementary School my children's school. From what I have heard, he is an excellent teacher. The children love him. My children come home talking about Mr. Auxier all the time, about how he dressed up like Johnny Appleseed and all the wonderful stories he has read to them.

I am always impressed to see people take such pleasure out of reading to and working with the children. Wonderful people such as my husband Joe and Mr. Auxier are always working toward developing the kids' sense of adventure and creativity. Is this a self-serving way for people to relive their childhood? Maybe, but I believe the personal benefit gained from taking such initiatives with the children is only a breathtaking by-product that spreads like wildfire. When you see the children's eyes light up with enthusiasm because of something you did to spark the tip of their excitement, it's contagious. You want to do it again. You want to see more children light up. It fills your heart to see those little smiles and to know that they are using their brains because of something you said or did!

Anyway, I got a little side-tracked there. As I said, it spreads. Back to the small world. Mr. Auxier is also one of the coaches on my oldest son's (Tyler's) Junior Pro Basketball team at PES. The kids seem to have a great time with him.

Back to Roger Owens. As I began, I was recently speaking to Roger and he was talking about his talented daughter and her ability to do such things as installing ceiling fans and such. He wound up talking about Libby's husband, who was a fourth-grade teacher at PES. Yep, you guessed it Bryan Auxier. I had one of those "revelations" instantly. I remembered Roger's excitement when Libby had her first baby girl and then again with the second. The circle was complete. In my mind, I could then link all the pieces to the happy family and my friend Roger.

These moments are the ones that allow us to realize just how small this world is. When it comes right down to it, we are all connected. It seems to me that as we have children and they become involved in activities, we begin to see how those connections are formed and where they lead. Ultimately, in this lady's mind, those connections lead to an infinite community circle in which our children's children will look back and say, "Hey, I knew you when..."

No matter where we travel or plant our roots, it is still right smack in the middle of this small world!

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