2015 was an influential year

| December 21, 2015

When looking back over my 2015, so many events I attended and people I talked with have made my year one that I will never forget. As I was looking over my planner, deciding on what to write about, so many moments jumped out at me as good memories of 2015. While I enjoy covering all events, these are the ones that stick out in my mind as ones that make coming to work each day worth it.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a terrible dancer. But the night I spent at the Blue Ridge Grange doing a feature article on the Boots n’ Buckles dance organization was one I will never forget. Jay and Donna Simmons, instructors of the dancing group of about 30 active members, welcomed me with open arms and asked me if I would like to dance with them. Of course I said yes, knowing that if someone had a cell phone, I’d be the next huge embarrassment on YouTube or Facebook. But I got up in front of everyone anyway and tried my best, and ended up having the most fun I have had in a long time. That night reminded me that no matter what life throws at you, you need to cut loose and have some fun once in a while.

Later that week, I had the esteemed privilege of talking with Ron and Pat Beck who were celebrating 56 years of marriage. I will never forget their story of how they met and how their love has grown through the years. They end each day by telling one another that they love each other and giving each other a good night kiss. After their article was published, they both came into the office and gave me a hand-carved angel that they had made just for me. I was moved to tears by their gift and gave them each a hug. The couple reminded me to not only do something nice for someone whenever you can, but to celebrate the love you have with your spouse and your loved ones each and every day.

With a healthy two year old daughter at home and another little girl set to make her world debut in early March of next year, maybe the story that touched me the most was the story of a child who was born at 24 weeks gestational. I talked with her grandmother who showed me pictures and videos of her defying the odds and, although she has her struggles, she is a typical toddler. After given only a 39 percent chance to live, she is a true inspiration. Her story taught me to give thanks for my beautiful two year old daughter, and I think I went home that night and gave her an extra-long hug.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Chautauqua. I think every year this event comes to Coshocton, I enjoy it more and more. Everything from the kids’ workshops at the library, the adult workshops at COTC, to the much-anticipated nightly performances, this event is guaranteed to be entertaining, and you might even learn something new! And as Dianne Moran who portrayed Olive Ann Oatman said about Coshocton, “We’ve been to three other towns and it’s like spears falling from the sky when it rains,” she said. “Nobody comes to our performances when it rains, but you do! We performers feed off of you. We can see the look on your face and know when you are with us in the past. You are true pioneers.”

The courthouse is the focal point of any community, and to say I was impressed with the renovations completed at our courthouse this year would be an understatement. Lepi and Associates did a fantastic job bringing the court room back to its original glory. I can’t imagine how much time and energy, not to mention finances, it took to make this renovation possible. The research and the articles I wrote on the court house could not have been possible without Irene Miller whose dedication to this county landmark is unyielding. She led a media-only tour in April from the basement to the clock tower, and I learned so much about our county court house from her. Thank you so much, Irene!

Last but certainly not least, who doesn’t enjoy spending an afternoon in Pooch Blackson’s Galley in the Alley? I was so thrilled when Coshocton was named Best Hometown in Ohio Magazine and one of Coshocton’s icons, Pooch Blackson, was featured on the cover. Pooch invited me over to his Galley and told me stories of growing up in Coshocton and being in the 7UP business, playing Santa at all the Christmas functions, and the year that Santa arrived at the wrong house! Thank you for sharing your memories, Pooch. You are definitely an icon of Coshocton, and you more than deserved the honor of gracing the front of Ohio Magazine!

In closing, I look forward to another amazing year in 2016 with the upcoming birth of another daughter, and being able to hear the stories of the people of Coshocton County.

Category: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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