Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Take Back the City

It's possible because this is the absolute latest we'll have had a Labor Day holiday weekend in a number of years that you might have thought I'd write today about yet another too-short summer, the one that's passed us by again.

You know the one I mean. Right around Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, when we start to plan for all the trips, the beach outings, the week at the lake and the family gatherings we were going to do this summer. The calendar in the kitchen sure filled up fast, didn't it?

And here we are, staring at that same calendar, with the kids already back in school and that summer to-do list basically untouched. Just me, or do they go by faster and faster each year. I'm reaching a point where I almost hate looking forward to them because they're gone before I know it.

I don't mind the Halloween stuff on the store shelves though I will admit to being annoyed last week coming over the Laurel Hill Bridge on my way to Groton to see a lawn sign sticking up near the sidewalk encouraging me to place my order now for a Christmas tree. Talk about a sign of our times.

We live lives in the future and in the past. It's the here and the now, where we are at the moment that we seem to have the most problems. Someone last week, saw it in the pages of this newspaper, wondered about a Norwich version of the Providence Waterfire, Riverfire, event and across a dozen different social media sites were reactions ranging from cool to caustic.

Perhaps that's just a collective visceral reaction, what I call the Eeyore response, which seems so often to be the first impression we have on new ideas, no matter what they are and no matter who offers them.

I'd like to think, and to hope, once we catch our breath and get the patio furniture back in the shed after the last barbecue on Monday we can be a bit more measured and mature on a whole raft of ideas and challenges before us.

In the case of Riverfire, we seem to forget that not that long ago no one had ever thought of a Norwich Saint Patrick's Day Parade and yet on a weekend close to Saint Patrick's Day, we wear green, march a little bit and have ourselves a time. Who'd have thunk it, right?

My point? Not much really, except maybe we need to think again about how do we make Norwich, again, a place for all of us to come home to? The politics and personal agenda of the past are how we got here. Where to next, and how we go is up to us. November elections are knocking on the door. 

We need to believe we can do better we deserve better and to seek out those with innovative ideas and a desire to serve and work for all of us. We need to be One City, proud of its past and confident in its future
-bill kenny

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