The Matriarch of the Hays Free Press, (I love that name, especially in this era of “Fake news”) Tutta Barton, once said that Goldie was “the most famous dog in Kyle.” I was very pleased to receive that compliment on Goldie’s behalf, and I have no way of knowing if that’s true. But assuming it is true, I got to thinking, what that might mean. It means that as we progress on our walks around town, people notice my dog. She is the most friendly dog I know, and maybe a little too friendly for some people and situations.
The reason she is famous is not just the fact that I write an occasional column about our walks and what we learn on them. The reason for her fame is that she is known. When we walk to the post office, postal workers talk to me about my dog, and how they missed me when I didn’t come get the mail with Goldie the other day. When we go to the bank to transact business, the tellers always give me a couple of dog biscuits for Goldie. It’s interesting to note that she won’t eat them while we’re on the road; she waits to eat them at the end of her walk. We’ve made friends with several people on our route, and when they are not there to greet us when we walk by, Goldie whimpers and barks until I convince her we have to move on.
Maybe Goldie would not be as well known in Austin as she is in Kyle. It also helps to have free access to the paper, which would not be the case on the Statesman, for which I thank the Hays Free Press profusely.
Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, having been a “number” in my high school, I can appreciate the advantages of a small town, even if that small town is no longer “small.” There is simply something to be said for “being known,” not famous, but known to be a part of something.
The Apostle Paul says that the goal of love is to be known. More specifically, the goal of love is to know as we are known. And so scientists are driven to know the secrets of the universe because there are always more questions that need answers; teachers are driven to excite in their students a love of learning to ignite a passion that will compel them to want to know more and more. There is a great story about a 90-year-old woman who recently got her college degree, and when asked what was next, she said she wanted to get her Master’s. That is the kind of attitude I want to emulate.
Being known is a wonderful thing; being loved is better.
Mark W. Stoub is a retired Presbyterian minister who has written a novel, Blood Under the Altar” and the forthcoming Fire in the Blood and as always he may be found at email@example.com.