Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

There are lots of somewheres in which to start in the county

By Bill Gray

By BILL GRAY

Mt. Pleasant News

Start somewhere. I’m having a little trouble warming up to the words, but the concept is rock solid.

I mean, the state of Iowa doesn’t really mean “start somewhere” as in, start anywhere, for this nifty healthy walk starting at noon Friday, Oct. 7. They really want you to start somewhere in Iowa so they can nail down this world record for most people walking at the same time in the same state or something like that.

And I’d love to think in terms of Henry County-ness for this event, as in start somewhere in Henry County. Of course, there should be a good group starting at the Saunders Park shelter house. I may join them, though there is significant irony in my case if I drive the mile or so from the office to the shelter house instead of just walking from here!

When I first lived in Mt. Pleasant on the east side, I enjoyed early morning walks along Monroe Street, usually from Haynes Street to about the Heatilator Center and back. That’s just one of tons of walk-friendly routes in our community, to say nothing of opportunities in surrounding towns and places like East Lake Park.

There are lots of “somewheres” in which to start in Henry County.

This is just such a great place to start something, anything, that the generic “somewhere” doesn’t do us justice.

After all, this is where the first Walmart Distribution Center got started outside of the company’s home base in Arkansas.

This is the place where mailing giant Alaniz/Metrogroup decided to pursue its exciting partnership with Xerox in creating a “Super Press.”

This is where some settlers in frontier Iowa got together in Presley Saunders’ cabin and formed what 175 years later is the outstanding First United Methodist Church.

This is where residents have decided that they will promote the preservation of their historical heritage through projects like the Saunders School and Van Allen House restoration, and the recently announced project to restore downtown’s Union Block Building.

This is where some residents got together about a half century ago and recognized the value of preserving agriculture heritage, and produced what now is one of the state’s most popular events, the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion.

This even is where, when a California company decides on short notice it no longer will dispose of our trash for us, other local companies and individuals come together to create a seamless transition of the responsibility.

So you see, I’m all for just keeping the “here” part of “somewhere.” In Henry County and Mt. Pleasant, we do a great job of starting –

– And we also have a great history of fine finishes!