When a person hears I live in Wadsworth Ohio, they usually don’t give it a second thought, or say “oh, you mean Hick Ville!?” In my mind I think of how mentally blind some people can be, and then I wonder how hard, or easy, it would be to open their eyes to the warmth and purity of my town. For example, I would help them realize the small town feel, but big town numbers, the amazing, original and locally owned restaurants and stores, and the little known history that makes my town original and great.
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Entering Wadsworth, a person would see the street, Main Street, lined with closely positioned shops and restaurants in need of some touch up paint jobs. About halfway down, another perpendicular street cuts through revealing the town’s drug store, Ritzman’s, and even more stores. These include Carolyn’s Cupboard, where all you’re baking needs and various fun treats are sold (like the only good part of Lucky Charms cereal, the marshmallows, bagged solely), as well as the tiny bookstore on 130 Main Street that will try to sell someone all the antique books they own, however never do, yet still manage to stay open, and finally, one of my favorites, Anne’s Pastries which sell the best, most mouth-watering baked goods a person could wish for, and is still run by Anne herself, who is pushing 85 years old but lives like a teenager. Continuing down the road, one would come across the Blue Sky Drive-In. Here a person can see 65-year-old sweet hearts holding hands and living a blast from the past while their younger neighbors, in the car next to them, are on their first date, nervous as can be.
This is downtown, and though it looks and feels small, it thrives with the business of over 21,000 people who make up and respect the community, as well as enjoying the sight of new faces while still caring about the old ones. Walking around Wadsworth, things look old and warn, which might make a person wonder about what the town has been through, it’s history. Personally, I don’t feel that the finding and establishment of the city Wadsworth is very exciting, considering it’s the same story almost every town in Ohio has. I think that the icons of the town are much more interesting, and they help exemplify the character of this great town I call home. One icon of Wadsworth, well known around these parts, is the Blue Tip Factory. The factory shut down in the 80s but still remains in our the towns soul, and to celebrate this, Wadsworth throws a Blue Tip Festival each year celebrating the roots of the city and reminding it’s people that without the Blue Tip Factory, Wadsworth probably would not be the well-adapted community it is today.
Another icon celebrated in this American community is the Wadsworth Gazebo. The Gazebo was built in 1976 by the Wadsworth High School carpentry class, its purpose was to be a reminder of how strong we can be when we work together, and my town has always proved to recall its reason of existence. I didn’t think that the city of Wadsworth was very special at first, but then I began to notice the character it has. For being a big town, Wadsworth has proven its small town charm, and I will always be grateful that I had the chance to live in such a historically rich town that still strives to remember it today. I love my town, and I think others should give it a chance as well.
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