Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Normal Gone By

Have you ever gone somewhere and immediately felt at home? Like you belonged there? That’s how I felt when I came to Normal. Except . . . I wish I had lived here about 30 years ago. I think I would have really liked it at that time, although I realize that the area has always been changing. Going way back in time, here are some excerpts from the 1912 publication, “Views of Normal (Illinois),” published by The Normal Improvement Association:

“In Normal you find all of the advantages of a city of 30,000, with all of the inconveniences of the crowded city removed. Its wide streets are lined with beautiful shade trees which were planted by its founder and his pioneer associates more than half a century ago.” (p.2)

“The public schools of Normal have always compared favorably with those of other cities of a similar size, yet the people of the community recently recognized the fact that to keep up to the standard expected of an educational center, better and larger buildings and equipment were needed and they immediately proceeded to provide the same.” (p.3)

“The city is rapidly coming to the front, enjoying a substantial growth.” (p.6)

I realize that this is a promotional publication, so it probably overstates the positive and ignores the negative. Still, I think I would have felt at home even back then.

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