For a week, the talk of Newton has been a certain automobile aficionado and his mechanical interest in a Dodge Dart.
The situation lends itself to conversation, puns, jokes and all sorts of innuendos. It’s the kind of deal that is so strange you’d be letting some readers down not to write about it. We had fun with it ourselves in the office.
But it’s something I wish would have happened in Florida and not here.
It’s too bad that this is again what brings regional and national attention to our city.
I wish those people could see the Newton I saw last Saturday.
Saturday, thousands of people in Newton walked behind vehicles. Shiny, well-maintained vehicles.
And, funny thing, not a single person did anything appropriate with them to make national news.
Instead, the downtown car show was a little slice of Americana. Three hundred plus automobiles lined the road. Oldies were cranked out, and perfect weather greeted the crowd that attended.
I walked up the rows of cars chatting with folks. I know more and more of them each year I work here. I went to Norms to get a coffee. I had some pizza from Back Alley. And I started thinking of a column.
We worked a beer garden for the newspaper that day.
We had yard games and music and beer in the Midland Bank parking lot.
We operated in a temporary chain link fence area to keep the beer contained as our permitting required.
The fence was hardly necessary.
The rowdiest our beer garden got were some old car guys arguing about who would pay for their tab.
People were able to buy beer. We didn’t have a break down in the social order. We didn’t have public drunkenness.
We just had a bunch of people enjoying the day, playing a few rounds of bean bag and ordering pizza.
For the most part, people are good. For the most part, things go right. For the most part, I think Newton’s a good town. I wouldn’t sink a significant part of my life into it if I didn’t believe that.
I have the advantage of at least getting a bit of a bird’s eye view of Newton.
I get to write about the car lovers. But I got to go out to the Habitat for Humanity house on Friday that’s being built with a pile of help from local businesses and volunteers.
I got to go to the Tribine Plant at the Newton Industrial Park this week and see the huge and amazing machines that will become the biggest combine anyone on the market can buy.
I got to hang out with some of the organizers of Sand Creek Summer Daze to film a commercial, and those people are going all out and pouring their time and energy into returning a summer festival to Newton.
Soon, I’m going to be writing about a few new businesses that are opening up that should generate some excitement.
In all, I get that we can’t take ourselves so seriously. I get that bad things happen. But get outside, go for a walk, talk to your neighbors, enjoy a park.
We really do live in a nice place, if we let it be.