I want to tell you about a place that I love. Muncie, Ind., is a small city located about two and half hours northwest of Cincinnati. It's my wife's hometown, where we were married, where our son was baptized, and a place where we still spend a good bit of time.
Only below my boyhood home in upstate New York, and our hometown of Cincinnati, Muncie ranks high in my heart.
That's why it is difficult to tell you about what has happened in Muncie.
The poverty rate there is higher than it should be, as is the unemployment rate. It is home to several, long-shuttered factories that represent jobs that left the city and never came back. In fact, if it were not for Muncie's largest employer, Ball State University, Muncie as it exists today might not exist at all. Abandoned, presumably foreclosed homes dot the streets there. The uncut grass is the telltale sign.
It's hard not to see the suffering there. If a Ball State student wanted to do a case study on poverty, they would not have to leave city limits.
But as I contemplated the challenges facing Muncie, I came to the realization that it is not unlike a lot of other cities across the country, a microcosm if you will. There are many other cities suffering in the shadows of closed plants or other challenges. None of those cities are more special than the rest, except for my Muncie.
Are Muncie's glory days over? Maybe. But possibly there could be a renaissance there someday. Imagine if an up-and-coming tech company didn't choose Silicon Valley, New York City, or Seattle to locate their headquarters, but instead chose Muncie, or another city like it to make a difference. Imagine what it could do for a city like Muncie, whereas not even being felt in some larger city.
What Muncie has always had however, is hope. Hope that things are going to turn around. Here, however, is one remarkable story about one Muncie resident now even losing his hope. If you read nothing else for a few days, take five minutes to read this remarkably well-told story:
Top Stories On WCPO.com:
Today's Distracting Link:
In honor of Tom Cruise's most recent box-office bomb Rock of Ages, I give you this:
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Lifestyle Headlines
Outside Magazine has released its list of the "Best Canned Beers of 2013" and a local beer has been named the best beer to drink at a ballpark.