Chillicothe, Ohio is my hometown – almost. It is the county seat and my house is 15 minutes from downtown Chilli-bobo as we fondly called it!
There isn’t a whole lot there although it has grown up, mostly after I left and now has quite the shopping district full of strip malls and restaurants! It is always a little exciting to have your hometown mentioned in major news magazines, although it probably isn’t because of something good that is happening.
Last week’s mention was in relationship to President Bill Clinton and his several visits to town. In case you fell asleep for a little while, Ohio is a “battleground state” in the general election and was also a hotly contested state this year for the Democratic primaries. Bill came and spoke with his “friends” about why they should vote for Hilliary and I’m sure a large part of the county did vote for her and supported her win in Ohio’s primary.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the article:
With just over a week to go before the Ohio primary, Bill Clinton’s arrival in Chillicothe was greeted as a homecoming of sorts. More than a few in the audience at the college gym could remember the first time he came to the city. It was 15 years before, almost to the day, and the new President was in town to sell his economic plan. The 46-year-old baby boomer had seemed the very embodiment of the freshness and change that the people of this downtrodden burg on the edge of Appalachia had been praying for. They were giddy when he jogged through Yoctangee Park with the mayor in 3�F (-16�C) weather and dropped by their new McDonald’s for a decaf. But it was the hope in his words that thrilled them most of all. “None of us have all the answers,” Clinton declared back then. “This is a new and uncharted time. And I want to encourage you to continue to believe in your country.”
But today’s Bill Clinton after a quadruple bypass has given up jogging in favor of long walks, and his hair is a halo of white. And he had come to deliver a very different message. Don’t fall in love, he cautioned, simply because someone tells you that “we need to turn the page in America, and we need to adopt something fresh and new — whatever that is.”
Chillicothe was last mentioned in TIME just over 7 years ago. This was a gloomy mention talking about the economic problems of the US and how “Chillicothe’s fortunes typically mirror those of the rest of the country.” The overall article was about the Bush tax cuts, asking ordinary residents if the cuts would have a positive impact on the struggling economy.
I’m no economist, but there are a lot of new businesses in town. Most of them are in the service and hospitality industry, with lower wages than the old manufacturing jobs. So who knows!
Keep on, keeping on Chillicothe!