Above The Fold
I HAVE BEEN LIVING IN TERRE HAUTE (That’s French for “Its better than you thought”) since 2002. Since then both the city and I have improved.
In Terre Haute there is new construction, a revitalizing downtown and an expanding University presence. With me there is a lowered blood pressure, a smaller belt, and a brow that is no longer permanently furrowed.
Not to say that there still aren’t problems – with both Terre Haute and me. But there has been progress and people are beginning to notice.
A recent study by a financial services company ranking the “America’s Best Small Cities” put Terre Haute at #9 out of 1300 cities with a population of under 75,000.That might seem shocking to the native “Hautians,” but from the viewpoint of a relative newcomer it is not all that surprising. I have seen giant forward steps taken in Terre Haute in the years since I arrived here.
I take full credit for all of the positive changes. Thank you.
Although I was born in a small steel mill town in Pennsylvania I spent most of the next 40+ years in “The Big City.”
After all those decades and too many years under bone-crushing stress I felt as if I was going to explode like a Dollar Store balloon in a roomful of porcupines. Life in the Big City was a nonstop grinder of crime, disasters and human degradation. It was getting worse every year. The newspaper headlines screamed with all the gore and horror they could squeeze across the page. I felt pummeled by life.
Then I came to Terre Haute.
This morning I got up, made tea, and fetched the local newspaper from the front porch.
The headline was about the local high school graduation ceremonies.
Today there was room enough for the sadness on the inside pages.
Today belonged to the joy.
When I see something like that it lets me stop and smile. I don’t feel like I’m being slapped in the face. I am being asked to share in the joy, even if I don’t have a son or daughter among the caps and gowns.
That would never happen in “The Big City.”
I like living in a place where that can happen.
I see a newspaper like this morning’s and I know that I am in the right place at the right time in my life.
Without my wife though, the lovely and wonderful Dawn, it would be hollow. Without her it would be pointless. Without her it wouldn’t be – period. She was the net that pulled me in and saved me from drowning.
She is my headline of joy above the fold.