Taking a look back at 2013

Jan. 11, 2014 @ 12:28 PM

Two years ago when I embarked upon the dynamic idea of featuring local people and personalities and particular interests in the Hillsborough and Northern Orange area, I did so without any particular direction or set-course.
During this time, I have learned, been inspired, discovered, and in less than 1,000 words, attempted to capture the essence of a feature story.
Over the past year, I’ve met some life characters and special people that all comprise this small parcel of the world.
Here are some of my most memorable features of 2013:
Over the course of one-day, I met the future leaders of this world, in the form of class president’s and valedictorians from all Orange County High Schools. No matter the age, when you are surrounded by intelligence you hope it rubs off.
When I met David Bailey of Bailey Bee Supply, it reminded me just how important bees are in our world and how succulent fresh, local honey is on warm buttered toast.
I hope to feature more public-service people in the coming year, but Brad Allison, chief of the Caldwell Fire Department, illustrates how much impact a homegrown boy can have on a community. Allison began his service in the Fire Department as a teenager and eventually became chief.
I listened and observed with great interest the passion from Lee Gordon and his personal journey to keep the historic significance of the Civil War authentic as a re-enactor.
Local businesses Hillsborough Bicycle Company and the new-kid on the block, Radius Pizzeria, have solidified the independent charm of Hillsborough and the plight of determined people to forge a living through commerce and service.
In amazement, I saw the efforts of volunteers at the Orange Congregations in Mission food pantry and their pursuit to ensure those in need,do not go hungry.
Of the 50 or so features in the past year, the character that stands out as the one person who represents the past, the present and the secret charm that makes this town and the community of Northern Orange special is John Jefferies. Jefferies looks you in the eye and he tells of effort and his quest for keeping the traditions of centuries ago alive in this modern world. It grounds you and creates an opportunity to take inventory of what is important in your own life.
Toward the end of last year, I featured both of my grandmothers and I shared how they inspire me and how fortunate I am to have them part of my life community.
Going forward into this year of 2014, I hope to continue to share parts of this place in the world and to bring the independent strands of fabric that weaves a community into a community.
Have a feature or question for Jason Hawkins? Email him at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.