Every now and then, I come across someone taking a cheap shot — to put it, mildly — at Peru. And it irritates me, to put it mildly.
But it’s nothing new with me. As a newspaper editor in Frankfort, Wabash and Michigan City, I experienced the same kind of unfair negative nonsense.
What’s more, because I worked for a company that owned newspapers in 12 small communities in Indiana, Illinois and Louisiana, I saw and read inaccurate, mean-spirited diatribes about them, too.
I can empathize with Mayor Jim Walker, who has spoken out about the idiotic babble that hurts the city. As an editor — like editors everywhere — I’d periodically heard something like, “There’s more news about (fill in the city) in the (fill in the name of a competing newspaper) than there is in the (fill in the name of the paper I was editing).”
During my career, that stuff about more news in a competing paper was a bunch of horse puckey — just as the criticism about Peru is.
Basil “Stuffy” Walters, the great Hoosier editor whose biography I wrote, told me early on in our relationship, “Show me a good newspaper and I’ll show you a good town.”
Stuffy was right. I saw it in every place I worked and in other communities.
My wife and I lived in Peru for almost 20 years — longer there than at any other place during our married lives. When we moved to Bloomington, it was for a variety of reasons. It was a decision that came after much thought.
Recently, Peru took some shots from one of those “best of” or “worst of” surveys that pop up on the Internet.
That got me thinking about the columns I have written over the last year. I have dealt with several subjects and several people who make it clear that Peru is a wonderful place to live and work. Like every community, the quality of life could be better in certain ways, but all things considered, Peru has nothing to be embarrassed about.