To the wonderful Granite Falls community:
This town has a storied history. Most of the buildings from the 40s and 50s still exist in Granite Falls, and they stand the same distance apart. They occupy the same spaces and reach up to the same height in the sky. The substructure of this city remains the same as it was 50 years ago. The falls, the footbridge, the bricks and mortar and wood that make up her shops and houses and churches and schools, the cottonwoods along the riverbank remain the same. Her families, her workers, her rivers and her floods remain the same. Her moments of strife, conflict, sadness and misunderstanding, followed by her moments of unity when all conflict passes away. Her bonfires, her long walks, her ancient wounds, and her desire for reconciliation remain the same. Her doctors, her pastors, her welders, her carpenters, her mechanics, her bakers. Her heart, her love for her own, even when her hands are tied, her wakefulness, her hospitality, her strength—remain the same.
Ashley and I cannot always put into words how much we love you and this place, and we hope you will never hold that against us. For two folks living in St. Paul we found our heart here—in your will to make good community happen.
Granite Falls contains a lifetime of stories. You have suffered the hard realities of modernization and the evolution of American culture. This country is very different than it was 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago, but so much goodness remains the same. Without growing up here you treated us like an adopted son and daughter. We have witnessed a vibrant heart of goodness and, for lack of a better word, hope for the future, built upon a love of what made this place great. This town contains thick lines of blood—connecting it to the river, to its struggles and triumphs. We have become convinced that there is nothing these people can’t do—with a love that does not count the cost and a faith in the people you have chosen to love. We can never leave, and we will always come back.
The production of Granite Falls: Saturday Nights! two weeks ago was a true testament to the strength, spirit and pride of this community. It is a beautiful rarity to have a city council not only willing to support the arts, but to have a mayor who is willing to act in the show; to have businesses and individuals step forward and give not only their financial support, but in-kind services, volunteer hours and energy to ensure that activities of this nature continue to bring new people to the area and give current residents yet another reason to stay. You have the resources, the talent, the environment, the infrastructure and, most importantly, the drive to make things happen. We can’t wait to see what Granite Falls does next!
Page 2 of 2 - With unending gratitude,
Andrew Gaylord and