Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

October 25, 2013

For the love of a small-town story

Three years ago I drove through Kokomo, knowing only two things about it. 1. The town was a lot like my hometown of Anderson, except it stayed afloat when the automotive industry drowned. 2. The Beach Boys maybe or maybe didn’t sing about it.

As my friend and I passed through Kokomo on U.S. 31 for the first time a few years ago I kept repeating, “Wow, Kokomo is built up.” I couldn’t believe that in between the flicker of factory lights something else stood: a community.

A few years later, I became part of that community as Kokomo Tribune’s Lifestyle Editor and fell in love with Kokomo through the stories I wrote.

This community has been one I’ve sincerely loved sinking my mind into; it’s a community that’s inspired my pen to move with creative ease on my notebook. I jotted down quotes from a sincere soul with a story that they gave me the honor of telling or observations of people captured in moments they’re passionate about.

I’ve lived each writing moment fully while writing about The City of Firsts and I tried to live it like those who live it every day. That has taken me to some of the most sentimentally surprising places, whether it was skating with the City of Fists derby gals, sitting in on music lessons with Gary Rhum, blowing glass at Kokomo Opalescent Glass or finding a summer home on Sunday nights at Kokomo Speedway.

One of the first stories I loved at Kokomo Tribune was that of the Seiberling Mansion, this magnificent home that has stood for so long on its foundation (since 1891.) It seems like it almost developed its own soul in all its years. Standing at five stories tall with a grand ballroom upstairs, its massiveness is what first strikes you. But, its detail is what makes you grow to love its spirit and what it means to the community where it stands.

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