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.