I just finished an audiobook called “Our Towns: A 100,000 Mile Journey into the Heart of America,” written and read by James and Deborah Fallows. The authors traveled across America in a small airplane, and their goal was to portray the people they spoke with and the places they visited; small towns and large cities from north to south and east to west.
What I gained from the book was a renewed appreciation for MY Town; OUR Town. As I walk and bike around Sterling, and visit with people, I notice many factors the authors identified as to what makes an up and coming town. The book is an excellent read for anyone involved with the Chamber, County Commissioners, City Council, Sterling Community Fund, Schools, churches, etc.
Following are the authors condensed summary from their four-year project:
People work together on practical local possibilities rather than allowing bitter disagreement about national politics to keep them apart.
You can quickly pick out the local patriot. “Who makes this town go?”
The phrase “Public-Private partnership” refers to something real. People can point to something specific.
People know the historical story…value is in giving citizens a sense of how today’s efforts connect to what happened yesterday and what they hope tomorrow will bring.
They have revitalized downtowns
They are near a research University
They have and care about a Community College that offers connections to higher paying jobs.
They value and support unique, innovative schools.
They make themselves open to immigrants and new people.
They have big plans and have an idea of what will happen or take place in the future?
They will have at least one craft brewery and probably some small distillery’s.
Other than #6, (although CSU is just down HWY 14) I think Sterling is doing darn well. There is always room for improvement, but, in my opinion, I would give us a strong seven to ten on most of the author’s checklist.
Our mental wellbeing is enhanced if we like and take pride in where we live; the history, our neighbors, our way of life. If you don’t like YOUR town, get involved and help it become a town where you can proudly say, “This is MY town.”
As for me, I sincerely like my chosen town of Sterling. It has made a lot of progress, giving it present and future potential.
Living here makes me smile.
Do you like YOUR Town?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
A big thank you to Karen Burkholder at KB Photography, (970-520-3248) and Amber Woolery at Bella Salon and Spa (970-425-2345) for going above and beyond to help me get a new photo.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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