When I was in downtown Delaware early this Oct. 9 morning, I decided I wanted to take a close look at the Rutherford B. Hayes statue. When I was still across William St. from it, I knew I had to get closer, because it blended in with the dark color of the awning of the pizza place behind it. So, I hit the “wait” button on the post and waited my turn to cross to get a better view.
I was surprised that it stood so high off the ground, and how dark of a color it was. I felt like I was a tourist in my own hometown while staring straight up to see all I could see. What a great gift for downtown Delaware! It’s the icing on the cake! After seeing it up close from all four sides, and then stepping back a bit to take it all in, I knew I would have to come back again soon to get an even better look. If you stand at the same spot as I did, you can see the fire in the fireplace inside the Amato’s Woodfired Pizza place on that corner. It didn’t take me long, as I was walking back north across William St., when I said out loud, to myself, “Downtown Delaware is Lookin’ Good!”
Flowers everywhere. On the northwest corner of William and Sandusky streets, looking west, I saw tons of flowers for as far as I could see. So, I had to walk that direction to see all the beauty that was growing as far up as the William Street United Methodist Church. I ended my westward walk when I approached the amazing rose bushes in full bloom that line the walkway of the church. And for the first time, as my eyes followed the line of roses, I saw a large church bell at the end of the walkway. It made me wonder if it had been a part of the original sanctuary that had burned on that bitter cold snowy night of Jan. 30, 1971.
When I got back to Sandusky St, I headed north to see all those inviting eating places that are set up along the sidewalk. There are also some new shops that I had not yet seen. Too bad there wasn’t time for me to sit down at one of those tables and have a cup of hot coffee. As I looked down at the sidewalk, I realized this is the same place I had walked several thousand times during my growing up and older years.
Traveling the rest of the downtown streets brought more beauty than I had ever seen there. The flowers and the big pots of plants have taken over the town. The displays in the windows seemed more bright and colorful than I remember. What a wonderful October morning it was! It reminded me of the famous scene from “Wizard of Oz” when the whole screen turns from black and white to full color. Wow! I have to say it out loud, to myself, again: “Downtown Delaware is Lookin’ Good!”
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.