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Loving adopted home isn’t crazy at all

I’ve been called lots of things over the years, professionally and otherwise. Working at a community newspaper, it just kind of comes with the territory.

But the other day I was told that I must be crazy. And while this certainly wasn’t the first time for this either, I was shocked at the motivation behind this unqualified diagnosis.

It wasn’t over something I had written in the newspaper (But I do get that one often enough.)

It wasn’t over the fact that I like adrenaline sports like whitewater rafting and would like to jump out of an airplane someday. (I’d like to climb Mt. Everest too but I don’t think that is going to happen.)

It wasn’t even that I recently tried to win a debate with my pregnant wife that is always right and mean enough to prove it. (Please don’t tell her that I said that).

Nope, this revelation came from the fact that I had told him that I had just bought a new house.

But it wasn’t this foray into the real estate market itself that prompted this declaration but rather the geographical fact that the house was again in Ironton.

For this outsider, Ironton seemed to hold some stigma and negative connotation.

He may have wished he hadn’t said anything after I gave him a 30-minute lecture about all that is good in the city and all of Lawrence County, Ohio.

See, I may not have lived in the city my whole life but I have grown up around Ironton for many, many years and lived here for enough years to know all the good qualities.

Ironton is now home for me and my family.

Even if I didn’t work at The Tribune we would still live here.

The small-town feel and close-knit community is great.

And, of course, the best part is the people.

With a 2-year-old daughter and another child on the way, we are committed to this community. I want to see it succeed as much as anyone.

I have a vested interest in seeing it prosper because I will soon have those two children growing up here.

Through my involvement with a half a dozen civic organizations, I am encouraged with the direction the city is going, overall.

There are many positives related to infrastructure improvements, job development and quality of life additions.

But that doesn’t mean I’m looking at the community through rose-colored glasses, especially because of my role at the newspaper.

Part of those responsibilities include taking positions on the Op-Ed page, many times showcasing some the great things going on here but also pointing out areas where improvements may be needed.

Constructive criticism should never be confused with negativity.

Those views won’t always be popular and I welcome discussion and debate. What I write on the Op-Ed page is just that — an opinion.

But I have as much right as any to say what I think about my home.

So, as I told my friend, I might be crazy, but it is certainly not because I love Ironton and Lawrence County.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.