Paying it forward: Twin movers and shakers

Twins Joyce Robinson and Judy Phillips moved to Marietta around three years ago, becoming active in not just one, but many organizations, volunteering their time to help make Marietta look its best.

One organization that takes a lot of their time is Marietta Main Street.

Question: Why did you choose to move to Marietta?

Answer: Judy Phillips: We jumped in with both feet. It was a conscious decision. We did some research. We wanted somewhere with a variety of churches.

Joyce Robinson: We wanted a cottage town, somewhere that was a county seat, with less ice and cold for me. We wanted somewhere that was historically significant, somewhere still in Ohio but as far (south) as we could get.

JP: We wanted culture, but not as much as a big city.

JR: I think we did a great job of choosing Marietta.

Q: How long have you been here?

A: JR: It was three years in the fall for me.

JP: It’ll be three years since I’ve moved here in April. All in all, we’re happy here.

Q: What made you decide to volunteer with Marietta Main Street?

A: JR: We knew a little about it. It seemed like a good place to start to get involved with the city. We’re shakers and movers. We really care about the city and wanted to help. Eventually, if you follow the guidelines (for Marietta Main Street), you will succeed (in revitalization). We need more volunteers. It would be nice if more young people would get involved. Even if they’re busy, they can do just one thing to help.

Q: What are your positions with Marietta Main Street?

A: JP: I’m on the design committee. We install and take down the hanging baskets. When I first saw them, I assumed the city took care of them. We focus on facades, (such as buildings) on Front and Putnam streets; just to make them look better. It’s about making the town more attractive.

JR: I’m with promotions and marketing. We do promotions and plan different activities, like the Red, White and Blues Festival, the Christmas parade and the Loft Tour. We help Harmar with the Zombie Walk. There are a dozen different events that our committee plans for fundraising for money.

Q: What made you decide to get involved with other groups?

A: JP: We discovered, once you’re in something and you meet other people (who are involved in other groups) pretty soon, you find yourself saying, ‘Oh, I could do that,’ and you find yourself in many organizations. They’re of interest to us and we like the people who are involved in them.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?

A: JR: The people. There’s a nice mix of young and old individuals. There are people who have been here a long time, those who have left and come back, and those who are new to the area. You get a way to network. Having moved around a lot, you have to make the effort to get out and meet people. Marietta Main Street is one of the best groups you could join.

Q: What should people go about getting active with Marietta Main Street?

A: JP: In order to get a friend, you have to know how to be a friend.

JR: Just drop into the office and see (Executive Director) Jean (Farmer). Ask, ‘How do I help?’ Maybe you have limited time, but you could do something just to get your feet wet. See if it’s something you like to do. If nothing else, maybe give some financial support.

Amanda Nicholson conducted this interview.