Help us tell Greenville's history

The history of a town is best told by the people who lived it.

Those people of a certain age who have lived their entire lives in Greenville have witnessed a town go through as great a change as any place in America.

They have seen the boom years of the tow boat industry and the decline following the grain embargo.

They’ve seen Washington Avenue meander its way toward the levee in the name of downtown development only to see it straightened out later.

They’ve seen the schools desegregate calmly and then re-segregate gradually. 

Of those people, we are asking to complete a simple task. Write a letter to yourself as though you were still living in the time you choose.

If you pick 1967, you could write about seeing the Great Escape at Showtown USA  or For a Few Dollars More at Cinema 182. Or you could speak about more pressing issues of coming school desegregation. 

While the newspapers are the first edition of history, sometimes the stories of regular, everyday life isn’t as well chronicled as it could be. 

We want to collect as many of those stories as possible for a special edition of the newspaper later this year.

We have already begun collecting letters from many of your friends and relatives, but we want as many as possible. 

We also don’t want to constrict the timeframe to just the mid 1900s. We want folks to write about a time that meant the most to them. 

If you came of age in Greenville the mid 1990s, and it was the most memorable time to you, we want you to write about that time. 

History is best written by the people who experienced it, but we don’t want the letters to just be a glorification of time in history.

Some of the submissions made by our writers have taken their self to task over decisions made in the past. 

That’s what we want to gather from our friends. We want people to remember the decisions they made in a specific time period, be they good or bad.

But we also want people to write about the great and wonderful times they had in the town we call home.

You don’t have to been a Greenville native, but you have to have lived here during the time you want to write about.

All submissions will be accepted and there is no limit on length. 

We will take these submissions, edit them as necessary and pool them together for a special publication later in the year. 

We will also take submissions of family photos to accompany the letters.

Mostly, what we want, is to create a special publication to tell the story of Greenville in the 1900s. We know there aren’t many folks alive who can write about the times before 1930, but we have some sources for descriptions of those time periods. We are specifically looking for people to write about every decade from 1940-1990.

To be included in the publication, simply write a letter about a specific time period and send it to me at the newspaper. You can send via email to jalverson@ddtonline.comor via postal mail to 988 N. Broadway. Please send the letters as soon as you are able. If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to call at 662-335-1155.

Angel alert goes out again to the city workers who toiled in the terrible weather to keep the streets mostly clear of water during our deluge this last week. I’m not sure I remember a wetter week in my time here in Greenville. Happy birthday goes out to Brian Street. Send angel alerts and birthdays to the contact information below.

Jon Alverson is proud to be the publisher and editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. Write to him at jalverson@ddtonline.comor call him at 335-1155.