Maybe it’s the beautiful spring weather, or the opening of the PARTA parking garage, or the sight of structural steel for the new courthouse popping out of the ground, or the color of the new esplanade pavers that stretch as far as the eye can see from campus to downtown, or tracing the arc of the cranes as they swing the masons into position to put the finishing touches on the exterior of the new Kent State hotel, or listening to the excavators buzzing about like bees leveling off the foundations for the new Bricco’s restaurant building, or the relatively quiet and safe College Fest that passed uneventfully last weekend.
It’s all of those things that make me grateful to be in Kent Ohio and working with such a great group of people, inside and outside of City Hall.
There’s a bit of a sense of adventure that comes from re-discovering Kent in both it’s oldest and newest forms. Some of that feeling comes from ducking and dodging all of the heavy equipment that is shaking, rattling and rolling to the left, the right, underfoot and overhead — but it’s also turning a corner that you’ve turned 1,000 times before to find an unexpected new shop or a renovated store front welcoming you to come inside and see what treasures lie within.
I am grateful that some of the new ingredients added to the downtown mix have re-inspired old fans of Kent and introduced a whole new generation to what makes small-town downtowns so special.
I suppose this post sounds a bit like a Chamber of Commerce ad but I’m OK with that because I’m a big fan of the Chamber and the exceptional work it does for the greater Kent community under the stewardship of Chamber Director extraordinaire Lori Wemhoff.
One small step that the Chamber made possible 50 years ago was serving-up a new town-gown (Bowman) breakfast that for the last half-century has redefined the meaning of a power-breakfast, showcasing all the good that can happen from breaking bread together and sharing a little morning fellowship between neighbors and friends.
One breakfast led to another and 50 years later Kent finds itself in the prestigous position as being honored internationally as the shining star for the best in town-gown relations.
Last week I shamelessly rattled on about Roger Di Paolo’s Bowman Breakfast speech where he served as tour-guide down Kent’s nostolgia lane and thanks to the Chamber I am pleased to let you meander with Roger yourself with a little help from YouTube.
Here’s the video link to Roger’s talk for anyone that missed it in person: Roger Di Paolo Spring Bowman Breakfast Speech 2013.