Today at CPL - October 10, 2010

In 1984, when Canton Public Library was only 4 years old, we participated in an important anniversary celebration. 1984 marked Canton Township's Sesquicentennial. To mark the occasion, the Township published a "Time Capsule" newspaper with historical information and other interesting tidbits. One of the ads in the paper was from the Canton Public Library to the people of Canton.

If you would like to see this wonderful artifact and perhaps get a copy of your own, check out the Canton Historical Society. Here is an example of the fascinating things you can find when you explore Canton's history; an article by Canton Planner Jim Kosteva, entitled A visit to Canton in 2034: indelible memories:

It was May, 2034. We were traveling back home to Cincinnati after our weekend respite in the Traverse-Mackinac resort center. The areas' natural vibrancy refreshed me after two months of virus-free medical research in space.

Possibly as a reminiscent gesture or maybe just out of fatigue, Rebecca suggest we stop in Canton, the place we both knew as children. "We haven't been back there in years," I said. So, after agreeing, I reprogrammed our CTV, and my thought immediately turned to Grandpa. When he wasn't showing off his flowers, Grandpa would take us for drives in his old gasoline car and talk endlessly about the paths of Indians, Henry Ford and sweet corn in the summer. But we were children then, just children, and we took his words as ancient mumblings. As we coursed the tracks of the 275 express, I began realizing just how indelible those memories had become.

Our Compatible Track Vehicle then announced that I would regain manual control in three minutes at the Ford Road interchange. The trip from Mackinac had taken only two hours.

With the exception of the housing towers dotting the major corridors, Canton had not experienced much housing construction since the 2010's. Away from the interchange, we spotted the neighborhoods which largely blended into one another, but had grown stately in their own way. Although at first glance the homes appeared dated, inside, families were in touch with the world. Business transactions, education and even medical care began and ended in each communication den. The self diagnostic and treatment programs were the most phenomenal, bringing the world's best physicians into homes via micro chips and phone lines.

Many local businesses had become those pre-ordered pick-up places for anything and everything. Although home computer ordering schemes had cut the number of small merchants deeply, almost all of the plazas had put on larger, new architectural faces and many were connected. Surprisingly, the old Meijer building was still visible under the shroud of its new distribution center with its own track link to the 275 express.

The wide roads with a through track in each direction gave way to those in the western half and in typical fashion most roads here were with programmable track. The next view staggered me as sweet corn green had given way to a cellophane sheen. The remaining farms were large low greenhouses now, not only with radiation traces from the Greater Asian War still being detected with the regular host of contaminents, the recent move to agribubbles made sense. The hunger of three and one half billion people helped initiate the war and the indiscriminate explosions only hastened the enclosures and strict land protection policies. Though long expected, the deadly blasts shook the world back to its senses and into a production tailspin from which we had yet to emerge.

Traveling southwesterly, we received such a treat! Much of the Cherry Hill settlement was still there, but the sleek movements of our CTV made us feel out of place. The buildings were better kept than ever and had become popular as a rare mecca for homemade goods.

As we bumped along an older road, we spied children playing on a field I remember as much larger. It was strange to see them outside without protection suits, the recent alert having temporarily been lifted. They were laughing and running, busy with their games, echoing how we used to race around Grandpa's wooden barn. Continuing on, we drove past the old Township hall. Once graced with specimen trees and now a regional resource library and art center, it looked stark and weathered. The unprotected timbers had weakened in our recent environmental debacles. Only the roof glistened as light reflected a small set of solar mirrors. Local government operation had been transferred to the Western Wayne Enclave 20 years ago. The resistance to the Enclave had been as great here as to regionalism was throughout the country. But when individual communities folded under the pressures of services costs and infrastructure replacement needs, there was new viability in joining together.

Moving south of the road that Grandpa said once carried Sauk, stagecoaches, and Studebakers we were taken aback by the massive parabolic mirror energy station that stretched for more than a mile. Its power lighted the towers as dusk turned to night.

My own dusk was turning to night and I became entranced with my own mortality and the things that had changed since those sunny days with Grandpa. I saw once again those roads not taken, the paths toward peace and pure air. But now I as a grandfather was determined to treat my daughter's son to those entrenched memories of Indian trails and sweet corn, or settlements and subdivisions. And note for him that in fact all of the paths were still here.