If we’re friends on Facebook, you probably saw the following story I shared a few weeks back. I thought it was worth bringing into the newspaper column, and it will allow me to share even more thoughts on the subject.
Here’s the story; I was carrying a few things to my car from Meg’s Vintage Collective (I had a gift card from Christmas) when a couple stopped me on the sidewalk. They’re from out of town and asked about the mirror, so I encouraged them to stop in. I also mentioned as many downtown businesses as I could think of. They both commented on how, “great downtown feels.”
I smiled and said, “you’ll have to come back more often!” I also snuck in a plug for Almost Friday Fest and our riverfront trail.
We are the authors of our own stories, including how we speak of our town to strangers. Muscatine is not perfect, but in my 10 years, I can see the progress, the synergy across the public and private sectors, and the pride. I think about how we, as residents, are often the face of our community when we interact with folks that are visiting for the first-time. Whether it be the couple I met in downtown Muscatine or someone you talk with at a gas station, those first impressions make a difference!
Listen, I have been called “Muscatine’s Cheerleader” several times, and you know what? I love it! I only want the best for our community and everyone in it. That includes my children, who I know are having a great childhood and are receiving an excellent education via the Muscatine Community School District.
I’m half inclined to have some t-shirts printed that say, “It’s cool to love where you live!” along with a picture of our bridge or the clammer statue; would you buy one? I’m not trying to make money; rather have something to wear as head cheerleader for Muscatine. Plus, It’s easy to be negative and complain; there’s more than enough of that that we’re inundated with in-person and certainly online. I’m grateful for my platform via social media and this column, and to all of you for taking the time to read this.
Speaking of our community; for anyone that has recently moved to Muscatine (in the last one to two years), I would strongly encourage you to attend the “Live Muscatine” welcome orientation on Feb. 8 from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Merrill. This connects new residents and talks about our rich history and much more. Kudos to all involved in the planning of that!