Thought of the Week:
"Wills of Iron Build City of Gold" by Paul Harvey
For 30 years I'd been hearing about "the rustbelt." Surely that must be America's unlovely and embarrassing backyard.
So I went looking for it.
If the rustbelt is where our steel industry is I knew where to begin my search. I aimed my jet toward the valley of the Mahoning River in Ohio.
There, 170 years ago, a man named Young discovered iron ore and Brier Hill coal in just the parallel quantity necessary to make pig-iron and just the right amount of limestone to smelt pig-iron into steel.
Young called his pioneer village "Young's Town."
Youngstown flourished. By 1810 there were 773 people thereabouts. By 1890 there were 33,000.
Something about Youngstown, generation after generation, bred uncommon men - the Rev. William McGuffey, who authored our nations' best-ever schoolbooks, and the Rev. George Bernard, who wrote "The Old Rugged Cross." Early political and industrial giants, spring from roots in Youngstown.
But then - in our own time - high wages, alternative construction materials and cheap imports put our nation's ailing steel industry to bed and eventually to sleep.
I settled out of a leaden winter sky, folded my wings and went looking for rust.
What I found was a state university, thriving, expanding.
I found a Museum of Modern Art - 17 enormous galleries - displaying the most precious collection between New York and Chicago.
I found a Symphony Center as elegant as anywhere and an orchestra worthy of it.
A handsome classic courthouse - restored with loving care and private money.
This hub of five railroads for a population of 100,000-plus has 30 city parks!
And hospitals and tree-lined avenues of elegant homes on lawns wide and deep.
Where steel once was everything, half a hundred thriving industries now are.
All this plus 15 - count them, 15 - golf courses!
I went looking for the rust. I found none in Youngstown, Ohio. There were just enough riverfront ghosts to keep folks reminded how far they've come. Except that homefolks will be the last to know. Youngstown is under appreciated only by its own citizens who are as yet unaware that running scared from the blast furnace flameout they've run on ahead of most of the rest of us.
I know now where hometown boy Dave Dravecky got his get-up-when-you-fall-down-courage. Lead on, Youngstown. And please don't ever again feel sorry for yourself. Nobody else would.
(c) 1991, Los Angeles Times Syndicate
Quotes of the Week:
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
- Will Rogers
"Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not."
- Robert F. Kennedy
"You are the only one who can use your ability. It is an awesome responsibility."
- Zig Ziglar
"Everyone has a plan until they are hit."
- Evander Holyfield
"Never believe you're better than anybody else, but remember that you're just as good as everybody else."
- John Wooden
Link of the Week:
The MVP 20/30 Club launched a new website recently. Check out www.mvp2030club.org.
Events of the Week:
The Mahoning Valley Thunder will hold their second select your seat night event on Cortland Banks Field at the Chevrolet Centre on Tuesday, February 20th from 5:30 to 7:30pm. www.mahoningvalleythunder.com
The YSU Men's Basketball team is getting hot at the right time. Home game vs. conference leader Wright State on Thursday, February 22 at 7:05pm at the Beeghly Centre. For info: (330) 941 -1YSU or www.ysusports.com
Youngstown Business & Professional Women along with the YSU Williamson College of Business Administration present "Women Entrepreneurs: Increase your Possibilities in Today's World" on February 27 from 5:00pm to 8:30pm at the DeBartolo Stadium Club. For more information call (330) 502-7080. RSVP deadline is this Wednesday, February 21.