I thought long and hard about starting this blog. After all, I am not as good at updating my existing blog as I would like to be. I also have posted on blogs run by a couple of other people in the past, but rarely get a chance to do so now. So why take a slice of my life and put it into it’s own space now?
For starters, the domain was free through a benefit of my hosting service. But the real reason comes because living in Hanover has had its share of local headlines lately, some of which have had me a little agitated.
When my wife and I worked at the local newspaper, we thought we would never plant our roots in Hanover. Before we got married, we never even entertained the thought. Then we bought a house. And our friends stayed here as well 9for the most part). And we had a kid. And we started to really appreciate all the things a small town has to offer.
Fast forward to now where I found myself unable to keep silent in the press box at another county high school (I was covering the game as a freelancer for the York Daily Record) when the topic of “why doesn’t the Hanover school district just merge with someone else?”
For the record, I am opposed to a merger, but certainly see some of the merits of the discussion. Unless we’re going to get rid of buildings, there won’t be a real financial savings and you will have so many headaches adding transportation to Hanover and trying to make sure the curricula at each school – especially the high schools – is equitable. And if you think getting rid of one superintendent will really save tax money, you have more faith than I do that that money won’t simply be re-directed to multiple lower-level administrators who will coordinate academic matters.
I love living in Hanover. I firmly believe the people in the public discussions about downtown also love living in Hanover. But – and this is a big but – if all you can do is talk about the things you don’t like about Hanover or what you wish Hanover had or how your plans would magically transform downtown, are you really experiencing all the town has to offer? I’m not saying don’t complain. Lord knows I like to. But think before you complain.
Instead of focusing solely on what we can do to fix downtown Hanover, let’s spend at least as much time on what we can do to support downtown Hanover. That’s the piece I see missing. That’s the conversation that must go alongside the gripes and groans. Instead of talking about tearing things down, let’s talk about building up what is there and using that to convince others to do the same.
Think about it. I have seen calls for live music downtown. There already is live music downtown. In multiple places. I also want the theatre restored, but let’s not just knee-jerk that it needs a performing arts center because we have one downtown. We also have a wonderful community theatre outside of town (full disclosure: I have performed there and plan to more). We also have more dance and performing studios than you can shake a stick at. So let’s think of something new for that space.
So here I am. I already try to put my money where my mouth is by shopping downtown when I can so I’ll share those experiences here. You won’t here many solutions from me, just experiences I hope others take with them to discover that while our downtown can certainly grow and improve, it’s pretty darn cool in so many ways already. I’m not here to simply point fingers at what I think is wrong. I’m here to point out what is good, not in a Pollyanna “candy blue skies” kind of way, but in a “you really need to try the Key Lime Tarts from the Carriage House Market at least once in your life” way.
This just won’t be about downtown though. The area has so much to offer, and I want to share all the good things I come across. I’ll post when the mood strikes and promise not to post every time I eat at the Famous. Two with everything, light onions and fries makes everything better.