Not a Dear John Letter…
Nov25

Not a Dear John Letter…

Dear Fort Wayne, We do not choose where we are born. We are a product of happenstance. If you were given a choice before your life began, where you want to be born, would you choose Fort Wayne? I am not sure many would. It is, by some accounts, your run of the mill Midwestern city. You will find conservatives, drivers who want to park as close as possible to the front door, and farm fields. However, if that is all you see then you are judging a book by its cover. I was born in this city in a hospital that is now a park on Fairfield Avenue. I remember my days in high school when my peers would speak of “Fort Lame.” They would complain that there is nothing to do here and they can’t wait to get out of this town. I never had such thoughts. Sure, I have had my negative memories, but they are not a result of my geographical location. I would have experienced hardship wherever I was; those moments are part of life. For me, Fort Wayne holds some of my best memories. As a child, my brothers and I would play in the woods behind our subdivision. We built forts, ate wild onions, and scared our babysitter with snakes. I nearly lost an eye in those woods. In the summers, I would play wildcat baseball. I am an awful baseball player, but I still loved it. I didn’t like my swimming lessons so much. Jury pool management didn’t really appreciate the results of that. I love the zoo, the prairie dogs, capuchin monkeys, and jeep rides (the jeeps will be missed). I still love those things as an adult and have a membership to the zoo even though my wife and I do not have children yet. Downtown holds fond memories, as well. On Saturdays in the summer, our dad would take us to Powers Hamburgers, and we would proceed to visit our mom at the flower shop to share the smell of onions. In the winters, we would always see the lighting of the Santa on the side of the (now) PNC bank. I could spend a few thousand words on the memories that I have of this city. I would not trade any of them. Will I live the rest of my life and die in Fort Wayne? I cannot say for sure. Circumstances change, and opportunities arise and we make new choices. This city is not for everyone, yet at the same time there are 300,000 people that call it home, and many of them are happy to...

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The Pedestrian Highway of Fort Wayne
Jun13

The Pedestrian Highway of Fort Wayne

I love waking up on a nice summer morning, grabbing my helmet, gloves and bike and heading out for a nice ride.  I am not talking about a motorcycle – although the idea is quite tempting, motorcycles terrify me – I am talking about my Trek trail bicycle.  A gift given to me for my birthday this year to replace a 10 year old mountain bike that I had severely outgrown, my Trek is one of the best gifts I have ever received. For me, the trails have become my gym, a place I can clear my head and on some days my source of transportation. I have a car but on a nice day, I prefer hopping on my bike to get to where I need to go. In a culture that has become focused on health and environmental consciousness, the trails in Fort Wayne have developed into an increasingly valuable resource in the eyes of the community.  With over 70 miles of trails in Allen County so far, this vast and growing network of pathways can be used for recreation, exercise or transportation.  Fort Wayne is leading the state with its trail growth. Our trail system has exploded in recent years and plans are in the works to keep the momentum going. Just look at the most recent map. It addition to showing the current trails, it shows all of the expansion projects in the works. If you use the trails and want to see them continue to grow, please consider donating.  Currently there is a “Countdown to Connectivity” fundraising campaign going on.  Their goal is to raise $1 million before the end of 2013.  They need to do this in order to unlock an additional $5 million grant.  If you would like help familiarizing yourself with the trails, the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department hosts various Trek the Trails and Trail Mixers events that can help. In addition to becoming familiar with the trails themselves, you should familiarize yourself with general safety. If you have ever worked in an industrial environment you may have heard the cliche “safely or not at all.” You should keep this in mind when it comes to cycling, walking and running on our trails.  The best ways to stay safe on the trails are within your control. Places like Summit City Bicycles and Fort Wayne Outfitters offer a wide variety of safety equipment to help keep you safe.  Before you rush off to the store, I recommend you check out biking safety tips from Jaclyn Goldsborough of The News-Sentinel. Another best practice is to use the buddy system.  If you absolutely have to go by yourself, make sure you have a...

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