Letter: Sense of community makes Columbus special

From: Richard Gold


Sunday, Oct. 22, was a beautiful early fall day. Blue skies, sunny, warm — perfect for a bike ride.

My wife and I got on our bikes and did the full circuit of Exhibit Columbus. Albeit late, but finally the weather and our calendars cooperated.

We met friendly Columbus residents, some neighbors, some friends and some out-of-town visitors — all of whom, including ourselves, marveled at this remarkable exhibit.

There were plenty of youngsters engaged as well — some of the exhibit pieces are perfect jungle gyms.

At the “Conversation Plinth” we saw the orchestra warming up. Then we raced home to beat the late afternoon wind and rain.

On the afternoon of Oct. 24, we got to attend the Woman of the Year presentation to Annette Barnes, someone who has devoted much of her life to helping others, a clear example of servant leadership. Attending was an equally remarkable crew of earlier Woman-of-the-Year award winners — also homegrown.

Later that evening we listened as municipal, health and civic leaders helped us understand some of the groundbreaking steps we are taking to address the challenges of the opioid epidemic.

That followed a day where the city put on its welcoming face to a Japanese trade ambassador who reminded us that our welcoming initiative is indeed a powerful economic asset now and in the future.

What a heartening respite from the daily national dose of divisiveness, hate, lies and ruptured relationships.

Indeed, our architecture and design are quite special. But perhaps even more what truly makes our little town a special home is our sense of community — our willingness to collaborate across sectors private, public and faith-based — and that many of us hold a genuine concern for one another.

No rose colored glasses here. We are not perfect. Regrettably, we have posters around town reminding us of that. There is plenty of work to be done. But the operative word here is remarkable.

I submit Columbus is a shining example of many people working everyday to make our community better. And a special, if not remarkable, place to live and raise a family — and to welcome others from far and wide.

Our obligation to each other is to be part of that forward progress.