By Lindsay Eckert
I’ve heard the saying, “It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re going.” But, for me, I’m more than certain I wouldn’t be sitting at my desk surrounded by turkeys from the Kokomo Tribune’s coloring contest and telling the stories of this city if I didn’t keep in mind where I’m from throughout my life. Those hometown roots of where I’m from have been whispering me in the right direction on the journey to where I’m going, even when I was determined not to listen. I grew up 3 miles from my grandparents’ house, a land of farm animals, pets and a workshop where my Pap taught me to weld and build swings while we waited for the potbelly stove to heat up our hot cocoa. I spent my childhood learning to ride horses - except the time a 4-year-old me thought it’d be a good idea to switch up species and ride a sheep around the yard for the afternoon - and learning about nature while my Pap and I planted a garden every year. Despite a love for city life, my passion for realness had been planted and the whisper of my roots only got louder as I spent my years following college covering stories in Washington, D.C., and, more recently, Indianapolis.
I grew up on a balance beam of playing dress-up and enjoying city offerings while being able to sink my bare feet into the earth of the country, but the balance was harder to strike at 22 than it was at 2. However, a few years later, I met the balance who was born and raised in Kokomo and he ignited my fondness for a city similar to my hometown of Anderson. It’s a town that survived what mine struggled to overcome. As I pass parking lots full of employees and witness downtown undergoing beautification while I drive to work, Kokomo has become an extension of the once-thriving hometown I knew as a kid. While instilling a hope that where I’m from could have a chance of finding its way back home, too.
I may have traded in skylines for small downtown squares and switched the types of sources for stories - my new favorite “exclusive” interview is with Tipton County Pork Festival’s Pork Boy - but every day I drive in to the ease of Kokomo from the city where I live, the whisper that searched for genuineness is happily silenced by a smile of contentment.
[friday] editor/happy to be home