By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times
When my family and I go to Florida, we often like to visit the museum at the naval base in Pensacola.
I can never remember the road I need to turn onto that will take me to the naval base. What I do remember is that I must turn right by the Burger King. Heaven help me if anyone tears down the Burger King. I’ll never find my way to the museum if that happens.
I often use reference points, such as fast food restaurants, odd looking houses, funny looking mailboxes and other things as reference points when trying to find my way to a certain place. I’ve always done it. That was just how I was raised.
So, when I got an e-mail from Susan Tebben, a former co-worker, who had just moved to a new town and was having difficulty finding her way around, I admit I had to laugh a little.
While she was here in Glasgow, she learned to navigate herself about by using local reference points, such as the old Winn-Dixie building and the red barn.
Those who have lived in Glasgow for more than five years know what I mean when I talk about the old Winn-Dixie building, but I’m betting there are some who have no clue what I mean by the red barn.
The red barn is just that — a red barn, which is located on North Jackson Highway. It is a reference point that has been used by many people for many years, including emergency officials.
When Susan first started to work here at the Glasgow Daily Times, she thought we were awful by telling her she needed to go past the old Winn-Dixie or to turn the first road to the left past the red barn. She wanted more explicit directions that involved the use of road names and mileage, instead of saying the first or second road or “go just a little ways past something or the other.”
Occasionally, she would make fun of us [me] for using such reference points when giving directions.
I received another e-mail from her today [Thursday]. She’s found that people in her new town also use reference points, but says they are more historical than folksy.
Hmmmm. Didn’t I just say that many people for many years have used the red barn as a reference point? Doesn’t that alone make it historical? I think so.
In her farewell column, she talks about the Glasgow Daily Times being a good place to learn how to be a reporter. Apparently it was also a good place to learn directions, too, because she says the roads in her new town have more than one name, sometimes two or three names.
I think it’s a good thing she learned how to use reference points, because if she didn’t there’s no telling where that girl would end up.
Gina Kinslow is a staff writer for the Glasgow Daily Times. She can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.