Sunday, July 5, 2015

One Last Boom!

One last post for this July 4th weekend.  When I moved to Ashland in 1977 it was a culture shock...big city to small town.  Truthfully, I really didn't care for Ashland in those days.  Probably a good mix of homesickness for my family had a part in it.  But as the years have gone on I've seen the advantages of small town living.   Ashland was a town that was a huge manufacturing community full of white collar and blue collar workers making a decent living.  In fact Ashland, at one time, had the most millionaires per capita than anywhere in the US.  Latex and water pumps were part of that success.  In the 80's things changed.  Manufacturing left for foreign shores and factories closed here.  Big box stores replaced the "Mom and Pop" shops and downtown dried up.  But Ashland didn't lay down and die.  Manufacturing turned to small businesses and they in turn have grown and employee many folks.  Ashland University and Samaritan Hospital are big employers as are Wil Research and Hedstrom, Barbasol shaving cream, and Lance (formerly Archway cookies). There's been a big push to  bring back the downtown and shops are springing up all over.  Cute restaurants and antiques make it a fun stop for tourists.  Ashland has it's nicknames: "Someplace Special" and "The town of nice people". This summer the bicentennial has brought out many special and fun things that should make us proud to live here.  I'm even impressed that Mother Nature came on board and we were blessed with great weather.  As a final note...a musical note that is...I went to the concert in the park for "Pops in the park".  It was the Ashland Symphony and community choir appearing.  They did a great job!  Very entertaining and inspiring music.  It reminded me of an old movie where the towns folk come out in droves and enjoy a summer evening with the neighbors. 
The seats were filled and the lawn was covered with people on blankets or chairs. 
Little kiddos enjoyed the music as much as the big kiddos did!  Thanks Vicki and Tom for letting me use your sweeties in my post!
The boom of the cannons made the 1812 overture really "POP"!  Along with the bags that were handed out to everyone to blow up and pop along with them.  Sparklers were also handed out and everyone lit them at the end of the concert during "God Bless America"....so fun!
That made for a great finish!
I left the concert and walked through the park to my car not worrying that I'd be mugged, or find my car damaged or have to fight my way out of the parking lot.  I made it home safe and sound and really happy I went and enjoyed this final part of celebrating America and also happy to be a small town gal! 

16 comments:

Rick Watson said...

I'm right there with you Yaya. I've lived in the city

Rick Watson said...

I'm right there with you Yaya. Twice in my life I lived in a big city and while each had a lot to offer, I prefer the simpler lifestyle that I have outside the glow of city lights.
R

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, dear YaYa! This was an inspiring post. It seems like Ohio, Ashland, is a wonderful community and can serve as a model to other cities its size across America that have suffered economic setbacks and are struggling to bounce back. Some of my favorite early memories are of attending concerts in the park with my family, sitting on a blanket on the grass in front of a band shell and listening to an orchestra play. This past week Mrs. Shady and I upheld a tradition and watched the 5 hour movie Gettysburg, recalling the Civil War battle that took place July 1, 2 and 3, 1863, and marked the turning point of the War.

Have a wonderful week, dear friend YaYa!

Shady Del Knight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

I love the smaller cities also and I was just talking about that a moment ago.
I love the great finale with sparklers.
I'm so glad that you could enjoy yourself so much.

You're a great ambassador for Ashland.
Hugs,
JB

Z said...

What a lovely post. I'm glad you're so happy where you live.

gin said...

Your post reminds me of the Chevy Chase movie Funny Farm (he calls it small town living in the movie). I love that movie. All I've ever lived were small towns (only 2) but 30 minutes from the state Capitol city.

rosaria williams said...

Small towns are good for those who make an effort to understand the local values and take part in its rituals. Whatever they lack in attractions and comforts,small towns make up in the eagerness with which they appreciate the engagement of its residents. You seem to have found the sweet spot.

Nonnie said...

It seems that a lot of small towns are being revived these days and becoming the desirable place to be. Our kids moved to a small town and they are loving the kind of things you describe. This looks like what a July 4 celebration ought to be. And I love the nicknames for your town.

acorn hollow said...

I didn't like living here when we first moved here. I came from a larger area with quick access to the cities of Maine and NH but now I would leave it is home. It sounds like you live in a wonderful area. enjoy
Cathy

Laurie said...

Nothing like Small Town, USA!

betty said...

I think its neat that your town just didn't die when businesses left, but attracted new businesses and potential employers. Always good to hear too of a town that is re-vitalizing its downtown area. Lots of history there I am sure!

betty

Kay G. said...

Sounds like a great concert! I love the 1812 Overture on the 4th of July!
Your area sounds nice to me! God bless! x

John Edwards said...

The only thing I knew about Ashland was that one of those nice people was Yaya. It's always interesting to learn more about people's home towns, thank you.

Stacy Crawford said...

I'm so glad to be home. I did miss the fireworks this year😕

Susan Anderson said...

It seems like a wonderful place to live.

=)