Another sunny and happy day arrived again and I can tell everyone is getting into the full swing of summer’s advent. The causal strollers have also returned to Federal Ave. with their wholesome chatter and curious eyes. It’s been said much these recent years that for a downtown to reach the height of its ability in creating commerce, it has to have pedestrians as well as mixed-use buildings. I’m staying very positive that there will be even more people shopping downtown when The Good Shepherd gets their new 32 unit condominium project completed which will be only several blocks from the heart of our city. I’m sure that project will be a great success simply because as people grow older, they don’t like being too far outside the circle of banks, grocery stores, churches, post office, and health care. Should they loose their driver’s licenses, they’ll still be able to walk to nearly every place they generally go on a weekly basis. A good twenty minute walk is one of the best forms of exercise for the elderly. The tools are here to make our downtown vibrant so that’s all we need do is to put them to work.
Seeing a past client out walking the downtown, I ran to catch up with her simply to say “hey” and ask how she’s enjoying her central city apartment. She quickly replied, “I’m loving it more every day.” She added, “I left something in the mailbox at your office.” I walked back with her and pulled out a photo she’d taken of me one very cold winter day attempting to get a for sale sign in her yard. She giggled and said, “I still can’t believe you were out there in that -20 weather!” She told me at the time she took a photo of me but I never did see it. So funny! I looked at it and thought, “Oh Mr. Chodur. The things you do when the weather’s bad.” I’m sure the passerby’s must have thought me deranged for being out there with that long spike and small sledge hammer considering me doing something more evil than creating two holes in the frozen ground simply to get my sign to stand straight. Yes, one can only image what I was doing by looking at that photo which I now have posted as the photo of this article.
In looking at it, resurrected memories of some of the crazy winter days I’ve endured while trying to do my job. From being nearly blown off one of those scary blacktops in Winnebago County with the wind blowing snow at a gale force speed, to being nearly stuck out in the middle of nowhere in Worth County on one of those not so often plowed gravel roads, and of course I’ll never forget an executive who was transferred here from Ohio who insisted me show them everything in their wide price range during those absolute weeks of wintery Hell we had some years ago when the temperatures wouldn’t even get above -10 during the daylight hours, not to mention I had to show all 35+ homes after 6:00 PM. In the beginning, I chose the homes I thought would best suite them. After those were exhausted, they gave me their endless lists of homes to be viewed. Well, after all those showings, they ended up purchasing one of the first three I’d shown them. After we closed, they invited me out for dinner and in conversation, the husband said, “I know you thought I was punishing you, but I wanted to see if you really had it in you, and you did. You definitely do your job with a vengeance.” I laughingly replied, “And you picked the coldest weeks to get your confirmation.”