A great place to call home

Sometimes we see something so often we take it for granted. Such is probably the case with our own community. Recently, when I stopped overnight in Mt. Arlington, N.J., en route back from Connecticut to Parkersburg, I had an experience that caused me to see Parkersburg through fresh eyes.

Chatting with a fellow hotel guest, he shared with me that he was retired from the military and lived with his wife in the Washington, D.C., area. He asked where I was from and I replied, “Parkersburg, West Virginia.” He was surprised – he indicated that he and his wife had recently traveled through our city en route to a college event in Indianapolis, Ind.

He said that their sidetrip to Parkersburg was completely unplanned; our community was simply a convenient point to stop on the way. He said they very pleasantly surprised at every point – from the nice room, great food and attentive staff at the historic Blennerhassett Hotel where they stayed, to the nice couple on Juliana Street at the Caswell-Smith home, who they met when they were doing a walking tour of our downtown historic district. He said that they struck up a conversation with the owner who was tending his yard, about how impressed they were with his home – and he quickly offered to show it to them!

They were astounded that people in Parkersburg would so readily open their homes to complete strangers! He said that he found the one of the couple’s first names easy to remember as it was the same as his wife, Judy. And, then we laughed, because that’s my name as well.

He finished his conversation by saying that they would be back to our community – that they were impressed enough with the people and place, that they felt it was worth a second look. His words were, that they can’t wait to come back … that we have so much to offer others and so much potential, more people should know about us!

Let’s spread the word!

Judy Sjostedt