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Today's word on journalism

Friday, September 1, 2006

"[F]ew things are as much a part of our lives as the news. With the advent of sophisticated mass communication, the news has become a sort
of instant historical record of the pace, progress, problems, and the hopes of society. On the other hand--and here's the puzzle -- the news provides, at best, a superficial and distorted image of society. . . . The puzzle, simply put, is this: How can anything so superficial be so central to our lives?"

--W. Lance Bennett, political science professor, 1988

Cornish in the spring: 'A patchwork quilt' of greens

By Katie Smedley

May 1, 2006 | CORNISH -- It's a friendly, open community, says Mayor Dyer Pitcher, about his home town of Cornish. "As kids we had more fun than half the kids in Logan, I'll bet. We were always up to something."

Pitcher says many things have changed in rural life but people still like to raise their families here in Cornish. They know what their kids are doing and with whom they are associating, said Pitcher. Pitcher has been mayor for eight years and has been elected for another term. When he is done he will have been on the town board for a total of 20 years.

Helen Buxton, a long-time Cornish resident, remembers, "When I was a kid there were stores here, a service station, a pool hall and a barbershop. There had to be a pool hall because all the little towns had pool halls."

Now the only business left in Cornish besides agriculture is the post office, she said. Helen Buxton and her husband Verl have farmed in Cornish almost all of their lives.

"When there's a living, then you stay," she said. "Our land is paid for and my husband enjoys farming in fact, in the Seventies, he was voted Farmer of the Year for the whole United States. Until now we have had a dairy farm and we grew feed, alfalfa, grain and corn."

Springtime is a favorite season among residents of Cornish. "The prettiest thing about Cornish is when the crops are really growing and everything is so green. Because most farms around here are irrigated, it makes quite a patchwork quilt if you're up on the hill and look down," said Buxton.

"As things are growing green we have sufficient water to water our lawns and our crops," Pitcher said. "I also really like the smell of freshly cut hay. A lot of people don't know what it smells like. It's a terrific smell."

The appeal of Cornish is not only the scenery but the chance to live a rural life. Many people move to Cornish because the property and homes are less expensive than they would be in Logan, said Pitcher. Lots of young people are coming to buy starter homes and a small piece of ground where they can have horses or a garden.

Buxton said the most exciting news in Cornish is a rumor that a famous country singer has bought 20,000 acres of land for a wildlife reserve. Pitcher confirmed the rumor and said country singer Toby Keith is presumed to have bought the land from Evan Koller, a resident of Cornish.

"Cornish is a great place to get away from the hubbub," said Buxton.

Another reason people are moving out to Cornish is the availability of land. There are also recreational activities that draw people out this way, such as the sand hills that people four-wheel on, hunting and motorcycles, said Buxton.

Pitcher said, "My wife is from a metropolitan area with 6 million people and you couldn't drag her back there with a team of horses. It's the friendliness of the people and seeing people helping each other." Pitcher said 70 percent of the residents are new and looking for a place to get away from the city. Living this far away teaches people to be self-sufficient, and people learn to adapt to the inconvenient parts about living in a small town, said Pitcher.

"It 's been a good town, a good town to raise kids in. People look out for your kids and their own kids. Basically it's been a terrific place to raise a family," said Pitcher.

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