Sometimes when you’re a journalist, you write about businesses opening under new ownership.
If you’re a rural journalist, that business might have been a restaurant that was the center of social life in a town of 252 people. You might have heard people buzzing about its return to operating for months beforehand. You might have learned that the restaurant existed since before the Civil War.
You might go to the restaurant to take photos and meet a waitress who’s worked there for 20 years.
You might discover that the group of 23 senior citizens she’s serving made their reservation months before the restaurant re-opened. They might be gathered there for a school reunion.
They might show you sketches of the one-room schoolhouse they all attended four decades before you were born. You might hear stories about “pen the teacher out day,” when students locked the teacher out of school and bunked off. (Which, you might be told, usually happened during hunting season so that the teacher, if he were male, could go hunting instead.)
Sometimes when you’re a rural journalist, this is your life. You might need to ask your questions loudly.