If It Fits Your Face

Upon awakening this morning, I looked at the clock and when glancing at the time, I considered it was the hour to get up, so I did. Well, not ten minutes later and while getting myself prepped for the day, I glanced at the wall clock, and to my surprise, I was up a good hour and a half before my regular time. Of course this has happened a few times before over the years, and mostly due to confusing the big hand with the smaller. Oh well, I had half my morning chores completed, so I slipped back into bed and waited for my alarm to awaken me. It’s a good thing I hadn’t yet shaved because I would’ve certainly had more than a five o’clock shadow at closing time.

We had several nice rain showers in the night which offered some very refreshing air this morning, and so much so, I had my car window partly rolled down while driving, just to keep it coming in. Thank goodness there weren’t any slow-pokes I had to follow all the way Downtown.

What really caught my eye while driving in, was the snail’s pace of work being done on the bridge to nowhere. Almost every morning I see workers milling about, but nothing to show for their efforts the following day. Here we are on the down-hill slide to Labor Day Weekend, and still nothing concrete in regards to the building of the “ghost” hotel. I’m going to start referring to David Rachie who’s the would-be developer of that hotel, as “The Pied Piper of Mason City”. After all these years of listening to his excuses, wouldn’t you concur? Truth be told, your’s truly didn’t believe a word he said from the very first time I listened to his premier presentation. Of course when looking at the crowd seated before him, you could tell they were mentally “salivating” over his grand plans of putting Mason City on the map. Really?

Just today, when visiting with two separate couples who’re rapidly winding down their connections with Mason City, both of them talked about how our community has changed these recent years, and all for the worse. One of them even has another relative who’s preparing his home for sale, just so he can follow suit.

Have you noticed how many people who’ve recently retired from their near life-long careers here in our City, opting to sell their homes and move to areas far and away from here? Truth be told, I’ve personally not seen such an exodus over these long years. Believe me, it’s definitely becoming the rule instead of the exception. A generation and more ago, you wouldn’t hear of such, and mostly because they had life-long friends and connections still living here, but in these days when they go to retire, they’re hard-pressed to find colleagues who’ve retired earlier, still living here. Pretty sad isn’t it?

Since I’ve lived here nearly my entire life, along with being ever-thankful for the business I was given over these long years, I’ve always felt I had a stake in this community, and whenever I see or hear of something going on which I have serious reservations over, I become vocal. Of course whenever I mention something to one of the “powers that be”, I’m dismissed as being a nay-sayer and non-forward thinker. “Absolutely not!”, I say, because after having seen many failed attempts to create long-lasting pipe dreams materialize, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be able to step back far enough and “see” what’ll likely work, and what will go down in flames.

I’m not mentioning names or places when saying there’ve been a noticeable number of enterprises started here since the pandemic arrived, and I’ll wager half of them will have closed their doors within a two year period. When is our City going to realize we are not a university town? It’s always been a blue-collar town, and will continue to be until we have some really big high-tech employer deciding to build here. But of course, I’d find that highly unlikely because we don’t have the skilled employees to fill those positions, which goes right back to that old saying, “What come first, the chicken or the egg?” Mason City is not the “Field of Dreams” where if we build it, they will come. Remember, that was only a movie–not reality.

Most of my day was spent “herding cats” to where there were many loose ends pulling at each other that had to be delicately drawn together, just so all involved were on the same page. Of course I got blind-sighted by a client of mine who’s thinking about selling some property he owns and wanting a near immediate valuation on it. Unfortunately I couldn’t drop everything and change gears, so I promised him I’d get some research done this weekend and then give him a call.

Those intermittent showers we were having this afternoon, were quite the delight because they we’re creating some very clean-smelling air. I walked out with a client after one moved thru and said, “Wow! Doesn’t this air smell exceptionally fresh?” Unfortunately he couldn’t smell the difference which left me wondering. Oh well, I guess my schnozzola can pick up scents others can’t. I still laugh to myself when thinking about happenings from long ago, when some in my bloodline would try to deduce who’s was the biggest and the most worthy of ridicule. All I can say is, “If it fits your face, then run with it.”

I’m starting to grow even more disgusted with those contractors I’d called, and only because they’ve not yet contacted me with bids they promised to deliver days ago. There’s no doubt we’ve got far too few competing contractors in our City, and the ones remaining, are cherry-picking the bigger and higher paying projects. Some day when their fortunes have changed, they’ll be wishing they’d taken care of their regulars.

Tonight’s One-liner is: A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success!

Joe Chodur

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