In Other Words...

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, March 1, 2017
“People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones” -American Proverb

Believe it or not, it’s been a year since the West Liberty Index moved to the corner of Third and Calhoun Street into the “Globe Loan Building.”

Hopefully, at some point, it will be referred to as the Index building. And yes, I’ve been informed several times this is not the first time the West Liberty Index has called this 150-year-old building home. So, I guess it’s sort-of like a home coming for the Index, which has been doing business since 1868.

It’s a great building with a great view. In fact, though we’ve been all over downtown, this latest venue has been the most entertaining to me. The corner of Calhoun and Third is loud, noisy and full of life. The best part, I get a front row seat to it all.

You see, the entire front side of our office is a window which faces into the east. I get a pretty goood look at the comings and goings of West Liberty from where I sit. Chances are, if you’ve decided to eat at Marias/Magolandia I watched you walked to the door and I watched you leave. Just like the Police said in their 1983 mega hit, “Every move you make/ Every bond you break/ Every step you take/ I’ll be watching you.” Yep, that about sums up my view from the window.

I’ve seen some things sitting here. Every morning I get to see the beauty of the sunrise in the east as it blasts its rays through the window straight into my eyes while the late morning wanes away. Then I can’t see for awhile.

I’ve seen semi-trucks tightly weave around through the eye of the needle that is this corner, nearly taking out three or four cars as the travel to and from West Liberty Foods. Large left turns indeed, I hope someday we get an actual street dedicated to semis, with clear enough marking so they don’t have to blow through our downtown area.

Speaking of blowing through the area, I’ve got to witness the West Liberty Fire and Emergency Department fly on by through the intersection as they make their way to an accident. “Dog” Christensen really knows how to take that turn as the lights blaze and the sirens wale from the bright red fleet. Actually, that makes me want to reiterate what I’ve heard so many times from the fire crew, including our latest Fire Chief Kirt Sikels. If you hear the sirens please get out of the way, they don’t have time to be dealing with a second accident on their way to the first one.

I’ve seen the West Liberty Police Department patrolling, and I’ve seen city crews replace the banners up on the light poles about a dozen times. Right now we’re sporting the Chamber’s “Buy Local” banners, which are pretty hip and minimalistic. On that note, I get to see the flowers hanging from atop the poles everyday when Spring comes around.

I watched a mother accidentally push her stroller a bit too hard and have to chase her baby through the street. Boy did she turn red when that happened. She seemed relieved by the fact that no one was around to see that. Guess what, I saw that.

I’ve seen the lunch crowd strolling up and down the corner headed to any one of the restaurants that call Third Street their home. They’re excited chitter chat dies down a half hour later when they have to walk back to work. But, at least for the moment their outside in the sunshine.

Actually, the sunshine is a toss up. I get a front row seat to any storm that decides to assault West Liberty during the day.

I’ve seen a few fender benders, and a cyclists that plowed into the side of truck. He seemed ok though as he quickly jumped on his bike and flew off before anyone would notice. The truck itself ended up being fine, the guy ran into the tire.

However, what I’ve seen the most of is people. There are a lot of people walking around the downtown area.

Yes, there are days when it’s dead. During those days my Index cohort and helper John Hawkins likes to pull out the old phrase, “You could fire a canon down the middle of the street and not hit a soul.”

But, the downtown area gets busy, even when its not lunch hour.

Yes, there are those of us that work and live down here, plus the lunch hour, but there’s foot traffic beyond that. We have walkers, we have visitors from other towns, we have the occasional field trip of students walking in a group of 20 with their teacher in tow. We have salesmen, we have teenagers, we have older folks, we have joggers, we have dog owners, we have all sorts of interesting people making their way through Third Street.

The window is my portal to the outside world on those busy days, what I see excites me. This city is not dying, but thriving. No it’s not the 1950s utopia of the past, but there’s still life. There are still conversations that carry on for hours between friends, there are still children walking with ice cream cones and big smiles.

If people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones; well, neither should those of us downtown, because, most likely, we will hit somebody.

Hopefully the Index doesn’t move for awhile. This has been the most active corner of Third Street we’ve ever done business on. Should you ever be walking by on a lazy week day and you see that the office is open please drop on by and pay us a visit!
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