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Letter: Mill Race Park project 30 years ago resonates

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Al Stein

Boynton Beach, Florida

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Columbus after having been gone for almost 30 years. My sister-in-law, Maxine Wheeler, was kind enough to take me on a tour, and I was pleasantly surprised how much growth there was. I was taken back by the Mill Race Park area, as that was one of my projects when I was president of the Columbus Jaycees.

I still remember seeing everyone turn out with saws and shovels to clear out what was known as Death Valley. It was nothing but a marshland with trees, dead grass and plenty of everything no one talks about. We spent many Saturdays cutting and clearing away everything that was not needed. Paul Steadman and Gene Gurthet from the Parks and Recreation Department oversaw what we were doing. I remember them telling me what they hoped the future would look like, and today, that dream is there to see. The citizens, whether new or old, should be very proud of their city, which was known as “the Athens of the Prairie,” and that surely is the case.

I enjoyed our complete tour and look forward to my next visit to see just what Columbus has added.

There is much more I can say about Columbus and the Jaycees of the time, but for now let me say thank you for just being part of what Columbus looks like today.

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