Character Flaws

In spite of it being a delightful day outdoors, I discovered nearly all of my morning hours were eaten up with several appointments to show one home along with four condominiums over at Prairie Place on 1st.

The gentleman who I was showing Prairie Place on 1st condos, just happened to have grown up over in Chickasaw County, and then flew the coup after graduating from high school for bigger and better opportunities in the Twin Cities.  Having had a good run at success and now retired for some years, he’s all the more compelled to get closer to some of his relatives who’ve remained in the North Iowa area.

He was very much taken by the complex, and since this was his second viewing, he spent more time investigating and comparing the units he found most to his liking.  As chance would have it, there were three different unit owners more than willing to upon their doors for him just so he could see what furnished ones looked like.  Of course he was impressed by how much furniture actually fits in them.

Since he’s very much into expanding his artistic abilities with brush and canvas, all the natural light filtering into those units was very important to him. I was surprised to find he works with oil instead of watercolor or acrylic.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s better than average with the brush due to the attention he was paying to detail in those vacant units.

We had a good chat about the goods and services Mason City has to offer, along with the direction we seem to be going in the near future.  What surprised him the most was the fact that we don’t have more condos for the general public along with the elderly in our Historic District.  I was a bit shocked when he said that, because one very savvy commercial developer mentioned how important it is for historic districts to have what we call mixed-use buildings where there are commercial stores on main levels and condos or apartments on the upper floors.  He insisted that to have a thriving historic district, we must have up-scale residential units to support it.  I couldn’t have agreed with him more because I’ve personally seen it in other communities.

Another thing he mentioned which I already knew to be fact, was there being no place in the Downtown to go and have a normal breakfast or lunch.  Sure we have coffee purveyors and convenient stores offering their donuts, hotdogs, and pizza slices, but we don’t have a normal cafe where you can order from a daily menu, along with real tables and chairs available for seating.

For sure I’d likely be a noontime regular at a diner/cafe that would offer fair-priced breakfasts and lunches, because I really dislike getting in my car and having to drive down south, our out west to get something at a drive-thru.  Wouldn’t it be great if we had something like Chipolte’s in our Downtown?  Oh I keep forgetting, I’m being too simplistic again with changes I believe necessary to get our Downtown to blossom.

Oh, and I must tell you, I actually noticed a woman almost fall when walking in the Plaza because her heel went down in one of those disintegrated pavers that I was so much against back when I was a part of that so-called planning committee when they were asking for input regarding our Streetscape project.  Those planners along with the contractors should be very much ashamed of themselves for sticking us with those useless pavers, and believe me, I do hate telling our City, “I told you so.”  We all know who’s going to be responsible if someone takes a serious fall on them.  You can bet I held my breath when seeing that woman trying to catch herself from a fall, and thank goodness she didn’t go down.

One of our long-time residents stopped by the office today to talk about some of the recent articles and ads that’ve been placed in the Globe Gazette.  Since he’s considered by a certain circle to be one of the most well-read and highly educated people living in our midst,  most pay all the more attention to his comments because he’s normally a man of few words.

He said something today that really made sense which was, “I believe the reason our community as a whole suffers from a character flaw, is that we’ve been “taught” by our news outlets to accept all this negative news we’re reading and seeing as being something so important, that it’s in our best interest to be force-fed it on a daily basis.”  Wow!  Those words left me nearly speechless, but when thinking about it for a moment or two, I realized he’s right, because just as with children and animals, if you train/teach them to accept something that’s bad as being good, we then have a problem with them for years to come.

It would certainly be an undertaking to re-learn and/or re-instruct ourselves and others a new and better way to conduct ourselves in public and private, but of course we’d have to turn away from all the negative news outlets that made us the way we are today.  I can certainly find many examples of character flaws right here in River City that were likely caused by countless years of exposure. Let’s not blame, but rather start fixing.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary, is only to try to think them again.

Joe Chodur

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