Cedar Valley Seminary

As much as we don’t want to admit it, our weather is turning back on the cooler side and it looks like the low-lying areas are going to get another frosting. Once again, I was disappointed to find our skies clouded-over which made for an all the more gray day.

From the time I arrived at office, I was busied with last minute chores needing my near immediate attention regarding two closings that are coming up. As I’ve said many times, this rushing creates more opportunities for duplicity, errors, and omissions.  Back before this pandemic hit, our market was chugging along in a normal fashion, but shortly thereafter, it turned into panic buying which is going to make for all the many new homeowners being upside-down on their mortgages, and if we have just one or two negative “bumps” in our economy, they’re going to be in a whole heap of hurt. My biggest fear is that we will enter the realm of hyperinflation which I don’t think our Country has ever experienced since its creation.

My early morning trip over to Osage went very well to where I managed to pull up to an attorney’s office about five minutes after their opening time. It always makes me laugh internally whenever I have my first visit to such offices because the secretaries or clerks always give me a look as if I’d just arrived from the planet Mars, which was to be expected when arriving at an attorney’s office in the burg called Osage.

While there, I did a little driving around before heading back, and the most visible difference I found between Osage and Mason City, is how they seem to keep their homes and businesses more tidy than here in our City. While driving down a residential street, there stood a mid-sized enclosed truck with a man standing behind it with a giant-sized vacuum hose he was using to suck up all the leaves at the curbsides. Hmm. Now why don’t we have a truck or two similar to that one? What better way to keep streets and curbsides free of leaves? I know the street sweepers try to pick them up, but I truly don’t think they were built to pick up leaves.

Another wonderful feature I found while circling their town, was the diverse styles of architecture I was finding when rubber-necking the “old girls”. I hate to say this, but I’m going to anyway. What I’m near certain being the big difference, is there not being any rental barons in that town where they bought up grand old homes and converted them to seedy flats. If you should choose to make time, head over there to get a good look at those grand homes on the borders of their commercial district, and then come back to our City and do similarly. Afterwards, you’ll fully realize what I’m speaking about. My hat goes off to the residents of Osage for the way in which they keep it looking smart.

The above photo is one I took of the Cedar Valley Seminary which was moved about a half block several years ago and turned into a very beautiful building which is now used for community gatherings as well as a museum. I vaguely remember the controversy they were having at the time regarding the costs for such an undertaking, but I’m sure everyone is now on board after later realizing it was a forward-thinking investment in their community. I give them laud for being able to re-purpose an 1869 Baptist seminary into something not only eye-catching, but useful to the general public. I could actually see something being done with our Milwaukee Depot which is still standing and waiting for someone to come up with a long-term and self-sustaining plan for it. My thoughts regarding it, would be to have it moved to that vacant lot at the northeast corner of 4th St. SE and S. Federal and repurpose it into something that would attract all age groups. It’s certainly big enough.

I took the long way back and only because I’d not been thru Orchard in a very many years, and when circling back, I had a bit of a jaw-drop when seeing all those McMansions having been built near the Cedar River. I’ve always known Osage was a prosperous town, and being confirmed when seeing they’re still holding fast. Now why can’t we get more factories built here like their stocking and tire factories? We’re definitely closer to the distribution hubs than they are. Tell me, what are we doing wrong.

I’m of the belief there’s too much division in our community to the point the loud-mouthed special interest groups get things pushed thru which shouldn’t be, and I’m sorry to say, there are not enough real business owners who’re at the front lines of commerce here in our City, and not having any say or vote as to what’s best for growing our businesses.

Just today I entered into conversation with a manager of a company who seemed to be too cozy in his salaried position to realize they’re loosing business and if they don’t acclimate themselves to our times, that store will be closing its doors. While walking out, I couldn’t believe how lax they’d become with the maintaing of their once stellar customer service. I’ll not name the store, but I pray I’m wrong in my prediction that their days are numbered and if they close their doors, it’ll go down as being one more example of the burying of heads in sand during fire storms. I know well the smell well.

While being introspective, I can say I’ve been working all the harder at honing my customer service skills to where I’m now fully engaged in making sure all my clients and customers are satisfied. Yes, I’ve always been keen on keeping people happy, but in these turbulent times, I want them all to know that I’ll do everything I can to serve their needs without them even having the slightest thought of my being bothered over it. Believe me, some of these recent happenings have certainly put me to the test of being able to rise above the sometimes thoughtless minds of others. You can be sure I’m keeping mental track of such failings of professionals, and for sure I’ll not be giving their names to those looking for referrals, which is the way it should always be.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Who ever has no fixed opinions has no constant feelings.

Joe Chodur

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