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Founding myths, Innisfree, 30 December, evening

There is some disagreement about the founding of Innisfree. While many of the old timers are certainly old enough to have heard some stories, they're remarkably coy about it. Some of the more feisty ones even change their story every time they tell it. They seem to enjoy keeping us all on our toes.

While everyone has their favorite pet story, most everyone thinks there are three founding myths that make the most sense.

My friend, Jym, is absolutely certain that the story about the neighbors is the right one. He says his uncle Rindell remembers when he was a kid and his great-grandma would tell stories about the early neighborhood dinners and the first Simples. The story goes that a few neighbors in a suburban development started a craft sharing club just as things started to get really rough in the US. Eventually the club transformed from just swapping homemade crafts to something more like a food co-op. And as more and more people in the neighborhood got pinched in the troubles, the co-op spread until it was the size of a town. From the co-op evolved today's Innisfree.

Another theory is that a Homeowner's Association took over the governance of their community when the county government dissolved. They'd already established a thriving community garden and funded a bunch of nature paths connecting the community, and so they started by expanding both the garden and the trails until the neighborhood was filled with blooms and food. The bounty started bringing in adjoining neighborhoods until the contours of Innisfree began to take shape and the HOA's governance structure morphed into the Simples.

But my favorite story is that some crazy rich guy bought up a small town and started fixing everything up, including other peoples' houses. He gave everyone a job or help them start a business. He started the Innisfree flock, and he started the Grower Program. When his work was done and everything had been fixed up, he rechristened the town Innisfree after the Yeats poem, made everyone sign NDA's and disappeared.

That last one is a little insane, but I like it. In truth, it's probably some combination of the three. It doesn't really matter anyway. A founding story is just a myth, after-all. The history of Innisfree is being written everyday by the people that live here.

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