The Kutztown Bicentennial Celebration is this week. It’s the 200th birthday of the place I grew up and now make the home of my business. There will be bands playing at the park, a car cruise, a walking history tour, train rides, movies, ice cream socials, all leading up to the big Bicentennial Parade on Saturday night.
Having grown up in Kutztown, it’s a joy to see the participation and buzz around these events. There are American Flags hung on residences and businesses around town. I’m also starting to see faces of friends who have found their way back to town to join in the festivities.
I think it’s true that where we live means so much about who we are. There’s probably a reason why the first thing we often ask someone when we meet them, right after we learn their name, is “where are you from?”. We recognize that the answer tells us something important about them. It is often part of our self-definition. Even though many of us have lived in different places over time (we are a mobile modern society), it’s probably true that “home” will always be the place you grew up.
For me, Kutztown is a place that embraces history, faith and family, hard work and honesty, all virtues I hope I exude in my daily life having lived here for many years.
I look forward to the events of the week. I know that fond memories are often cued by physical environment. So, as I see old friends this weekend and picture town 20 years ago, I trust that these cues of the history of Kutztown will bring me fond memories of growing up here and remind me why it’s so great to still call this place “home.”
Happy Birthday Kutztown!