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Saturday, Apr. 25, 2015
Home Sweet HomePosted Friday, January 11, 2008, at 3:07 PM
Fort Scott is my home.
I've lived here for nearly 30 years. I grew up here with my family, and now I have been married for nearly 10 years and I am raising a family of my own in the same town. I went to elementary school, middle school, high school, and even college here. I've worked here since I was 14 years old. While we could have moved somewhere else after we got married, my wife (who is from Missouri) and I decided to live here.
Growing up, I remember a more vibrant town. I remember seeing many thriving businesses, happy faces on its residents, and just a lot more positive activities going on. Not to say that there aren't still many businesses still going strong, or some events and activities that still put smiles on people's faces, but I just seem to recall a time when Fort Scott was growing and thriving, and people appeared to simply be happier. It doesn't seem that way too often anymore. But maybe it's just me, I don't know.
Over the years, and some of these happened more recently, I (and everyone else who has lived in the area for some time) have seen public roads deteriorate into damaging disasters, several homes become run-down and dilapidated, broken down vehicles parked along curbsides that haven't been moved in what seems like years, a grand jury investigation into city affairs, quarelling among city officials and other businesspeople, a failed attempt to build an aquatic center in Fort Scott, the closing of several businesses, a tax warrant issued on a business, and many others.
And let's not forget that Fort Scott recently lost a city manager AND the president and CEO of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce within the last few months. It just appears to me that the crud outweighs the cream in Fort Scott lately. Not trying to be a downer here, but it's just the honest truth, and I write this only because I care.
Now I know there are still many things to be happy about concerning Fort Scott. The Good Ol' Days Celebration is still going strong after more than 25 years. Other annual events have also become mainstays over the years. Some new businesses are starting to pop up here and there, and many businesses that have been here for years are still here. Plus, I love living here because for the most part, it is a quiet town where neighbors are typically friendly and willing to help out, friends are loyal, the school system is good so my son gets a good education, and the crime rate is relatively low so a person is not nervous walking out their front door everyday.
Which brings me to another topic - the level of crime and drugs that has apparently reared its ugly head in Fort Scott in recent years. This is also another situation that has really started to drag Fort Scott in a downward direction, in my opinion. Empty homes (even lived-in homes) are becoming drug dens, drugs are becoming more accessible, and a number of drug-related arrests are being recorded.
I've lived here for almost 30 years (and most likely will for 30 more, if possible) and I would like to continue living here. We are happy and content and see the potential that Fort Scott has to once again become a community that attracts visitors and businesses. Especially with the four-lane U.S. Highway 69 nearing completion, there will soon be more opportunity for this town to make huge growth spurts than it probably has ever had.
Fort Scott is my home. It always has been and it always will be, no matter where I go or where I could possibly end up in the future. I'll always have a place in my heart for Fort Scott because I have so many lasting memories from this little town. And I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. I only hope that changes are made (whatever those might be, not for me to decide but change and solid leadership are needed to take this town into the future) in order to once again make this a town we can all love and be proud of again.
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