Eds Note: Dino dropped by with this year end summary…
To my Dear Wausau,
I wanted to take the time to say thank you. This has been quite possibly the best two years of my life, and I think a lot of it has to do with this great city, and all the wonderful people in it. Just today I was given a few great examples of the good and the bad, and I want to thank you all. We live in a beautiful place, a place that teaches me great lessons each and every day, a place that sticks it out with me and teaches me great big lessons that it takes a long time for me to understand and often find myself fighting, we live in a city that accepts people and their ups and downs and does not ever let anyone get too far along, we live in a city full of such promise it is possible to stand in front of City Hall and just sort of smell opportunity and really good people.
I wanted to take some time and hit my personal highlights. I know for the most part my writing tends to be of an increasingly personal voice each and every time I sit down to write, but my professor in college told me that it is the only voice that matters, that my eyes are the only eyes that see my world, and that poets are the unofficial legislators of the universe…writers give divinity to things when we write about them…and these things might not be divine, but they sure are special to me.
1. Evolutions in Design. Go on, tell me I am advertising. Then you walk in the door, and you smell the flowers, and meet the designers, and then the owners, and you tell me that this is not an amazing place. I have a personal connection to the place, and have known the design staff for a while, and I can say in all honesty that they are actually good people. Creative people. People that seek inspiration, and seek to celebrate creativity. They have personal relationships, and they pay attention to the people that are their customers. An example, I am a big fan of giving my mother flowers. I like to do it often, and the people at EID are where I go. I take the time to walk in, and walk through that wonderful maze of wonder, and I get to the counter to be greeted by someone who knows the place they are working in is amazing, and they know my name. I can simply say, I would like you to send some flowers to my mom. They tend to ask how much, and I pay. Then for fun they ask me what I want, and I just say, Angela knows. And the thing is, Angela does know. This designer who handles thousands of arrangement a week, knows what MY mother likes, and she knows what each mother likes when she sees the name on a tag. Not just mine, and not just Angela. Each of those designers knows each of our mothers and what they want.
2. Dwellers. I bought all of my Christmas presents at Dwellers this year. All of them. The cool thing is the staff. In contrast to many other retail outlets in the area, the guys and girls at Dwellers know everything about the things they are selling, the industries they are a part of, and what makes sense. The owner is quick to point out the industry problems, and the items that come from it…told me about a silly product that they sell. At the same time, the owner, Jason, and I talk a long time about shared history in skateboarding, and Jason finds the perfect skate video for this old guy to watch just to get my blood up. Then the big haired kid behind the counter, just awesome. Takes the time to talk to each person, to give them the stoke of whatever it is they are buying, to pass along that energy that he feels for the stuff in the store. Even the mom buying something she does not understand for her son, the guy with the big hair tells her that she is making a good choice, that it is a good product, that she is giving her son something he will be happy to get, and the mom is grateful for the words of the big haired kid. Jason and the staff at Dwellers are a big family. A big welcoming family in this town.
3. Ed Gale. Now we take a turn huh? Have you ever met Ed…or seen a City Council Meeting. It had never happened for me either, but my friend Pat got me to go, and now I am addicted. From what I understand Ed has been on the council for a while, and he takes it pretty seriously. He can be gruff, and fast with people, but he also can be rather mentoring, and guiding new people along in the process. From what I can tell he is a man who stands up for his beliefs, and is not afraid to voice them, and he is also a supporter of all voices, and supports each of them.
4. Jim Rosenberg. I tend to think of Jim as our only rock star politician. I also think he brings a chair from home to the city council meetings, as he looks really comfortable. Like Gale, Rosenberg is willing to put it out there. As a matter of fact I think he is the only City Council member posting on the forum at the Wausau Daily Herald. Rosenberg is seen as a real advocate for the city, and from the times I have spoken to him (not often) he is an actual happy guy.
5. Inner Sleeve Records. What can I say? Mike is an independent record store.