Monday, December 23, 2013

Looking Ahead

I'm going to take the chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year right this minute, mainly because my phone died Saturday. The repairman's coming today and will turn off my internet.  I may be optimistic about Norristown, but I definitely have a Murphy's Law philosophy about Verizon. Worst case scenario: the internet doesn't come back up, and I can't do anything about it until at least Thursday or maybe next week. I was going to take tomorrow and Wednesday off from the Diary anyway, but I may end up with a longer vacation.

But I DO remain optimistic about Norristown. Looking back over the last six months, since I began making Diary entries each day, I'm amazed by how many great Norristonians I've met. Oh, we have a few who keep trying to project their image of N-town as a big formal urban center. All I can think is that they don't get out of their ivory tower long enough to really get to know the residents and business people of this borough.

Yesterday, as I stood on the corner of Airy and Dekalb with members of the Norristown Preservation Society, waiting to get in the building so we could start our meeting, Robin Parker from the Dragon Boat Club drove by, lowered her window, gave us a shout out and wished us Happy Holidays. Tell me a city where that could happen.

Norristown's the best kind of small town.

I went to a Norristown Business Association meeting last Friday. Remember me saying we need a Chamber of Commerce?  I take it back. The NBA can fill that role, actively promoting our businesses and putting forth a positive image of the borough. They're going to be working together with the Dragon Boat Club and other groups in 2014 to bring us some wonderful festivals and events.

And since I was at the Preservation Society meeting yesterday, I can report that they'll be expanding their role of preserving Norristown's gorgeous architecture and history. Look for more events at Selma, walking tours in conjunction with our downtown festivals, and a raised awareness of our endangered buildings, for instance, the Jail, the Post Office, and Montgomery Hospital. Also look for a SALE on NPS membership, making it easy for the community to get involved.

As I've said before, we need to connect the dots between our volunteer organizations. I've seen so many people get discouraged and frustrated in town, and it's mainly because each group feels isolated. If we reach out to each other, work together, support each other--even simply publicize each others' activities-- so much more can be accomplished. And knowing we all have friends will keep us optimistic.

So enjoy your holidays, N-town, then back to work on this place in January. Remember, Saturday, January 18th is the MLK Day of Service. Volunteers will be working at 3 of our most historic buildings that day--Montco OIC (old Hancock School), Selma Mansion, and Centre Theater. To volunteer go to The Norristown Project's facebook page or contact Shae Ashe at

It's going to be a Happy New Year in Norristown. Be part of it.

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