We take it for granted. Over the past few weeks I have met with several people who were visiting the Mid-Ohio Valley for the first time. A retired Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation employee journeyed to our river city with her husband to enjoy the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival. Although she been here previously, it was always for work and she didn't have a chance to relax and take in all that is offered. Of course, the fireworks were incredible, but there was much more they enjoyed: the river museum was of great interest, the unique shops offered holiday gifts, and dining at our local restaurants added to a wonderful experience. She and her husband were both scared and enthralled by the tales of our haunted Marietta. She was very glad not to see the ghost at The Hackett Hotel, while he was disappointed not having a sighting. Maybe next time!
It's campaign season and, due to the redistributing of Ohio, we have a number of new candidates. At the chamber's candidates forum on Friday, many of the candidates commented on the friendliness of Marietta's residents, the beauty of our homes and downtown buildings, and the easy access to both the Ohio and Muskingum rivers. From antiques to biking, from history to live music, Marietta offers attractions and activities to meet many interests.
The chamber staff talked to several callers this past week who were interested in Marietta and Washington County for relocation reasons. One caller is a writer for "Where to Retire" magazine and she was researching a story about good places for retirement. Marietta was on her list of initial recommended cities. After answering her questions, I suggested that she take a look at a brand new Website www.goodlifemarietta.com. A project under the auspices of the Marietta Community Foundation, this compilation of six videos features residents who chose to live, work or retire in Marietta.
Each is just a few minutes long, these videos portray life in our city. Watch Dan Jones rowing on the river in the early misty morn or Bill Thompson and his family enjoying nature in their backyard. You will hear Jerry James describe how life is easy here because of the relationships developed. Khadine and Kevin Ritter share having lunch with their children during a workday because it is possible to drive home for lunch and get back to work in an hour. Ann Bragg at Marietta College shares the excitement of the children who visit the planetarium and Tatum Parmer from Marietta Memorial Hospital describes the emergency curbside service provided by Teri Ann's when she needed an outfit in a hurry.
Bill Thompson II had a dream of creating a new way to tell our story and invite others to come live the good life in Marietta. A legacy left by Susan Marsch to the Marietta Community Foundation for the betterment of Marietta launched the volunteer efforts of a small group of local citizens and resulted in this website and videos.
Take a look at the website, and if you like what you see, consider sending the link to your family and friends. We hope to use the magic of viral marketing to share the good life we have found here.
Charlotte Keim, CCEO-AP, is president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, The Riverview Building, 100 Front St., Suite 200, Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on Opinion.