Happy here for a lifetime

It’s nearly three weeks into the New Year. It’s my 81st New Year. I’ve been a Warren resident for all of my 80 years. That’s a lot of years to string together living in one burg. I was considered a Warren resident when I went away to college and when I was in the U.S. Army.

I belong to the Howland Rotary club and have for 38 years. When I joined Howland Rotary, my home was situated in Warren, but in the Howland School district. I hope that explains that.

A recently returning outbound Howland Rotary-sponsored Howland High student, namely Madeleine Rhodes, spoke to us about her year in Belgium. She had many interesting and exciting experiences in Belgium and Europe. By comparison, she said that a good time could be had here by any foreign exchange student, although it may take a little creativity. After all, she said, “This is Northeastern Ohio. If you can have a good time here, you can have a good time anywhere!” Paraphrasing her observations just a bit, you could say, “This is Warren, Ohio. If you can make a good life here, you can make a good life anywhere!”(You might want to refer to the song “New York, New York”-just use a little imagination.)

A good share of my Warren G. Harding High class of 1953 chose to go elsewhere to seek their fortunes. Both of my kids left dear old Warren to find more promising careers – either in another state or in a foreign country. Maybe it says that growing up in good old Warren prepares you to do well almost anywhere – it’s a good training ground for life’s perils and pitfalls. It’s a thought

Two things come to mind about living in Warren. One is the change of seasons, and the other is inexpensive housing.

Let’s take a look at the beauty of the change of seasons:

When I was taking classes in the never-changing weather of Los Angeles from September through December many years ago, I would look out the window at a scraggly, lone deciduous tree that forlornly looked in at me. Her leaves were a sort of green-brown. The months went slowly by. You know, that tree never turned a single leaf to any pretty autumn color – she just dropped them all at once – like shrugging her shoulders. I’ll bet her brothers and sisters back in Ohio felt sorry for her.

The second item is inexpensive housing:

I see on HGTV where remodelers will spend more on just a mild refurbishment of a home out on the west coast than the entire cost of a home around here. When they’re done with it, they have a place that is on par with an equivalent home in Warren, but selling for four or five times more. Housing around Warren is a real bargain.

I had the good fortune to spend nearly 28 years employed at one of the local, once-thriving industries – but that was a quarter of a century ago now. I was able to make a good life here and my family never was in need of anything. We may still be an economically depressed area, but things are looking up. I can see it. I see young families out for dinner on The Strip on Friday or Saturday night, waiting patiently to be seated in the crowded restaurants. A young family of four could easily spend $80 to $100 for that night out. That certainly says something.

I would like to submit this: Maybe they’ve found they can make it here! And those who have moved away? Perhaps Warren gave them the basic training needed to succeed elsewhere.

Warren has certainly been a good training ground for learning to live a good life. You can have a good life here. I do miss my kids (and their kids), though.

Happy New Year!

Mumford, of Warren, can be reached at columns@tribtoday.com