Many and Great

Many and GreatThe cool air and lower humidity has made today another one of those wonderful early Fall days that remind us again how fortunate we can consider ourselves to be living in North Iowa. Yes, everyone speaks about the evils of winter, but just remember, every rose must have its thorns. With that said, it’s easier to just know it’s part of life in our area and continue focusing on making the best of it.

I’ve been getting my ear full of stories from people who are moving here from out of State and making a commitment to stay when purchasing homes. Two stories I heard today caused me to become nearly speechless. The first one was from a couple who’re moving here from out East. They spoke of the exceptionally high cost of living, the crime, and the cheaply built condominiums and warehouses that are eating up what was once farmland. The developers evidently have no consideration when it comes to urban planning by building in great numbers and as cheap as possible. With the type of build-outs of warehouses, they’ve attracted employees who’re mostly employed by “temp” services to work for those warehousing companies offering low wages and no benefits. They spoke of their city in the past being relatively homogeneous, but with the types of recent commercial build-outs, the demographics have changed radically. I’m glad they decided to make Mason City their new home. My second conversation was with a gentleman who’s moving here from a metro area down South. I’d almost forgotten about how the traffic, the crime, and the ultra-conservative mentalities can be in certain areas of our country. Any time I hear of people being afraid to go out at night, even in middle to upper class neighborhoods, scares the yelp out of me. There’s something greatly wrong with how life is being lived in areas such as those. The real jaw-drop for me was when he told me it takes him 45 minutes to drive a mere five miles to work. Now that’s what I call having a problem with city planning. It’s no wonder road rage in on the rise.  I gave him as much information I could think of in regards to living in North Iowa while remaining hopeful he’ll make the move. One thing about the internet, people can work for companies whose offices are a thousand miles away and still manage to be productive employees by using the information highway.

Since winter is approaching, I thought it best to start checking off my list of things to do prior to the arrival of the cold and snow. Once or twice a year I get up on the roof of my building to make sure the gutters are clean and the roof decking is showing no signs of needed repair. Everything checked out just fine, and while I was up there, I thought, “Hmm, this would be a good opportunity to get a photo of the Kirk Apartments across the street from a different angle. Every summer I see the tourists out taking pictures of the historic apartment building from the ground, so I thought it would be a good idea to get one from a higher point. Most people don’t know that when it was built, it was called “Kirkland Flats” and burned nearly to the ground around the turn of the century. It was later re-built with insurance proceeds. It’s a classic example of the many and great builders of the time who built homes and buildings to last for generations. The above photo is the one I took today of the old Kirkland Flats.

Joe Chodur

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