One More Column...(For Now)

Underground Railroad Marker at Lakewood Park, donated by Robert and Gary Rice

Have you been noticing something really special going on lately? There are a whole bunch of new writers taking part in the Observer Project! It seems like just about every issue, there's another new name popping up. What's more, these writers have been amazing with their articles and stories about our great city.

It was back in 2006, after retiring from the teaching profession, that I decided to start writing a regular column for the paper. The work gave me something that I could try to do for my own community, after spending many years doing other things. I'd already done some guitar-related writing, so the transition for me was pretty seamless. I've always enjoyed writing, and (as I would advise any retiree) it's just a great idea to keep busy.

I've written columns about great places, and people whom I might have never otherwise known about. I've experienced restaurants and businesses that have opened my eyes to the eclectic wonder that is contemporary Lakewood. I've waxed nostalgic as my eyes welled up writing about a childhood dog I once had, and even more so, when I wrote about the closing of St. James, and other churches. Still other Lakewood landmark losses like the Hall House on Detroit Ave., and the losses of my old Madison and Harding schools, reminded me in no uncertain terms, that this was indeed a community in the midst of change.

At the same time, many of the new developments going on in this city are certainly commendable. Between the Lakewood Library system, the new schools, public and private, and the many social, business, and civic happenings around here, a continuum bridging the past with both present and future, brings hope and encouragement to those of us who continue to live and invest here.

This year marks Lakewood's 100th anniversary as a city, as well as the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The Ohio Chautauqua celebration will be bringing a big tent special event down to Lakewood Park in June, and I've been invited to be a part of the historical presentations that will be given there. Awhile back, my father, Robert Rice, and I put in a granite marker at the top of Lakewood Park's walkway to the lake, honoring Lakewood's part as being one of the last stations of the Underground Railroad, so the location and timing of this event promises to be a very special one for all of us here in this area.

Every day as well, a new page in the life of Lakewood's history is being written. You are an essential part of that history, and it's been good to have been able to share this experience with you. It is my plan, at least at the present time, to cut back a bit on my writing; at least over the summer months. Not that I don't enjoy it. Indeed I do, and from time to time, you may see my byline again for special features, or even another column if the inspiration hits me. The thing is, I'd really like to see yours too!

If you want to write something for this paper, the procedure is very clear and easy. Just follow the online directions, or give the office a call. I feel so grateful to have been a part of this paper. I hope that you too will consider becoming a part of the Observer family. It's your city that is being showcased here. No one can do that job better than you can! You ARE the pulse of the city.

Read More on Pulse of the City
Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 10:26 PM, 04.05.2011