EDITOR'S COLUMN | Don’t miss out on history, it’s happening now

Years of discussion, planning and financial wrangling paved the way for a big day in Langley this week.

On Tuesday, workers began construction of the Second Street renovation project, a $2.2 million plan to replace aging utilities and spruce up what is arguably the city’s busiest street.

Indeed, it was a day of history-making for the Village by the Sea, for this is more than just the start of a road project. Sure, city officials hope the improvements will have long-term ramifications for the economic well-being of Langley, and perhaps they will. But more than that, this marks the first day of a city that will never be the same. The street we know is about to be gone forever, preserved only in newspapers, history books and our memories.

Such is history, and the awesome privilege of penning its first draft is one of the coolest parts of working for a newspaper.

Someday I’ll have the honor or regaling, or boring, my grandchildren with tales of standing in the wheelhouses of four state ferries while they were under construction at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland.

I took images and wrote a nauseating number of stories about Oak Harbor’s famed renovation of Pioneer Way. I was there the day officials broke ground, the day Native American remains were unearthed and the day the project was officially complete.

The honor was also mine to cover portions of the lengthy approval process and construction of the first phase of the South Whidbey Harbor expansion. These are small claims to fame, but they are mine and now I can add Second Street to the list.

And so should you. Chances are, few in Langley will be able to escape the project over the 100 planned days of construction, for surely there will be headaches and inconveniences aplenty. But take the time to walk down to Second Street and see the project for yourself. Snap a few pictures and put them in your scrapbook. If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for your grandchildren, for you won’t just be watching someone dig a hole — you’ll be watching the first page in the next chapter that is the book of Langley.

Don’t miss out on history. Get down there so you can say you were there when the Village by the Sea changed forever.

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