Diane’s Newsletter 15th January 2019

Diane’s Newsletter 15th January 2019

Very Small Towns

What I discovered when I started checking small towns was that one of the world’s smallest towns was, until recently, Buford, Wyoming, USA. Almost 2,500 metres above sea level, Buford had a population of ONE (believe it or not). The town was founded in the mid-nineteenth century and was originally home to a couple of thousand people, mainly railway workers. By the time Don Sammons moved to the town in the 1980s and took over the general store/petrol station Buford’s population had already decreased markedly, but Sammons did a good business with people coming in from outlying areas. Sammons’ wife passed away in the 1990s and his son moved on in 2007, causing the population to drop to one: Don Sammons. Then, in 2011, Sammons also left. Sadly, the shop and the petrol station are now boarded up, and, as far as I know, no one lives there any longer.

Another one-man town is Cass on the South Island of New Zealand, north-west of Christchurch. It used to be a terminus for the Midland Line, but though there are five houses in the town there is now only one resident. Barrie Drummond has lived there for more than twenty-five years and he has no plans to leave. It would be a great place if you wanted to be on your own. . .


After an earthquake and a tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011, the entire area was evacuated, including the town of Tomioka. Tomioka was once home to thousands of people, but now there is only one inhabitant, Naoto Matsumura. Matsumura fled the town with everyone else, but he later returned as he felt that someone needed to be there to look after the land and the animals. He lives completely on his own without electricity and without running water.




January is, of course, the first month, so it probably makes sense to write something about ONE.

Where do our thoughts go when we see or hear the word one?

Perhaps we think about the number itself, beginnings, the first person in line, something or someone standing apart, individualism, self-sufficiency, leadership qualities, type-one diabetes, Formula One racing, bravery or even one person against the many. Our thoughts may even touch on words such as unique, solitary or alone. Or, if we are a visual person, our mind might fill with the colour red – a dominant, independent colour and one that is associated with the number 1.

One Comet (JPL-NASA)

The form of the number 1 could hardly be simpler, so we may think about clean lines and uncluttered shapes.

On the other hand, we may call to mind titles of books that use the word One:
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
A Room of One’s Own
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Power of One
One Hundred Years of Solitude

Or we might think of China’s one-child policy, solitary around-the-world sailors, our number one priority, or, if we are a bit on the pessimistic side, our thoughts might dwell on the images thrown up by one chance, one opportunity or even one life.

Whatever we think when we see or hear the word one, I hope that January, the first month of the year, will prove to be an exciting beginning to a wonderful year for all of you.

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