Going on a treasure hunt

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By Camille McClanahan

I may have the best job in the world, because I get to go on a treasure hunt, and I’ve already started. What I’ve found so far has been priceless.
As part of an ongoing series, we will be presenting Grant County’s Living Treasures.
Recently, I sat down with Anna Mary Gordon who turned 100 on March 19. I was humbled to be entrusted with her story.
She prospered by hard work, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit in a time when it was difficult just to do the daily chores required to function and to get from one place to another.
She lost her possessions in two house fires, but when she was knocked down by life’s crushing blows, she got up and started again.
Anna Mary has not only said goodbye to her parents, siblings and many friends, she laid to rest her husband and her only son. She misses them all and “loved them so dearly.”
She could have become a bitter cranky old person. Yet, she doesn’t dwell on her losses; she has a positive spirit, cherishes her memories and counts her blessings. Her countenance reflects her nature.
In a day when most of us are never satisfied, Anna Mary is content with her life. She is pleased even with the sound of her own name and she still finds joy in her family, her home and her UK Wildcats.
“I’ve been in Grant County all my life,” Gordon said. “Born, raised and raised my family on Highway 36.”
Anna Mary takes pleasure in being a Grant Countian and she is truly not just a Grant County living treasure, but an American living treasure.
When I mentioned her to Agnes Beach, soon to be 95, she said the following.
“We were neighbors, and when I was 6-years-old my mother sent me to school and Anna Mary took care of me,” Beach said.  “When we got new toys or games, Anna Mary would come over and show us how to play. I always looked up to Anna Mary as a mentor, but she was just a small person like I was.”
When you have had the chance to meet a mentor to Agnes Beach, who is known to some as The Doll Lady, because she has refurbished and given away more than 4,000 dolls to needy children, you know you’ve touched a unique and genuine precious stone.
Grant County has many people like Anna Mary who have lived quiet lives with integrity and our desire is to  not only tell their personal stories, but also to document history.
Sometimes you may not like the news we have to give you, but who doesn’t take pleasure in the sparkle of a perfectly cut, well-polished diamond? What a joy and privilege it is for me to meet these people, spend some time and hear their stories first-hand. I view it as a sacred trust.
We know where to look for our gems and have placed a few dots on our treasure map, but we welcome suggestions from you, our readers, to help us maneuver our course. We wouldn’t want to miss a single jewel.
Watch for Anna Mary’s complete story in next week’s issue.
If you would like to suggest a name to us to be included among Grant County’s Living Treasures, call me at 859-824-3343 or send me an e-mail.
 (Linda Lawrence is the editorial assistant for the Grant County News. She can be reached at gcneditorial@grantky.com.)