In reading an article about Cincinnati I came across this line,
More than any skycraper, special event or sports team, Cincinnati is defined by its 52 neighborhoods and the people who choose to call them home.
It got me thinking about Greenfield and other small communities. What we are as a whole is not defined by what one reads in the police and court reports, or the headlines in our local newspapers. Certainly we suffer the effects of drugs and unemployment, just like most American communities today, especially in rural and intercity areas.
Be it Cincinnati, Chicago, New York City or Greenfield, we are not defined by our liabilities, our baser elements. We are defined by our greatest assets, our people. The average person in Greenfield is a good, honest, willing to work, willing to pay taxes, willing to be a little league coach or a Boy Scout leader kind of person.
It’s easy to lose sight of this if one gives too much attention to the nay-sayers or the headlines. But, as often happens in our town, just when you think we’ve fallen off a cliff an individual or group comes along, makes something wonderful happen, and restores my faith in the goodness of our people.
Jennifer Lowe, in the past year, has taken on several projects including spiffing up Imagination Kingdom playground and organizing the Light Up City Hall project. Ron Dudley has been very active in village clean up drives, community walks and yard sales, and restoration of our once tree-lined streets. The several people who serve on 3G have worked hard to stage such events as Oktoberfest and Blues Brews & Stews. 3G spends its earnings on furthering community improvements and planning new activities for the continued enrichment of life in Greenfield.
Every year, for several decades, the Rotary has sponsored the Greene Country Towne Festival which is the largest community event of every year. It continues to bring thousands of people into the downtown area where they happily rub elbows with old friends and make new ones. The proceeds from the festival are pumped right back into operating the Ralph Phillips Recreation Center where many events take place throughout the year.
A couple of times each year the Paint Creek Fire District breaks out the screen house and fryers to continue a decades long tradition of frying up fish for all to enjoy. And come Super Bowl Sunday we know the Mother’s Club will be serving up sub sandwiches.
The Greenfield Historical Society may be one of the most active in the state. They maintain a number of historical museum properties, they archive and catalog thousands artifacts, they’ve published at least two volumes of community history, organized an area wide barn quilt project, and each year they sponsor such events as a Formal Tea, Sunday dinners at the Grain and Hay, History Day, Ghost Walk, Cemetery Walk, and Christmas Tour of Homes
The list of things our people do to make for a better life in Greenfield is almost endless and includes such things as all the little league sports activities, the annual Darrel Unger fishing derby, Halloween and Christmas parades, the annual duck race, the holiday craft show, Breakfast with Santa, and much more than what readily comes to mind.
All the people who help organize and stage these activities and events and all the many more who show up and take part are, without doubt, what defines our small piece of real estate.
So the next time someone proclaims Greenfield a deadzone or the next time you pick up the paper and the front page is splattered with news of police pursuits, meth house discoveries, Grand Jury indictments, etc., just remember that those things are but a small percentage of what happens during our days. In spite of the front page good will always far outweigh the bad.