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Marietta welcomes many notable visitors

I totally agree with Jack Moberg, whose letter we all read on June 14, that Marietta is no stranger to visits from famous folk. Our little corner of the world is not only prominent, but loved by those who choose to drop in, stop over, or accept our invitation.

To round off Mr. Moberg’s list of notable individuals who have visited our city, here are a few that I recall: David Brinkley, Charles Kuralt, Charles Osgood, Hugh Downs, Rocky Bleier, Joe Biden, John Hartford, David Frost, Henny Youngman and The Amazing Kreskin.

I remember David Brinkley giving an inspirational talk during his visit, but most found him to be very dry and uninteresting on a personal level. He did, however, love our little town. I had the good fortune to dine with Charles Kuralt and Charles Osgood on two separate occasions. They both stood above the crowd with their intellect and professionalism and I can attest to their love and intrigue of Marietta. Hugh Downs was one of the most interesting people that I recall. He found our little town quite amazing and he loved the waterways surrounding us.

I spent one afternoon with Hugh Downs gliding along the Ohio River on the Valley Gem as we shared stories I shall not forget. I remember spending time with Rocky Bleier a couple or three times. On one special occasion he gave his Super Bowl Ring to my husband, Neil, to try on. Needless to say he didn’t get to keep it, but it was a fun time and it was obvious that Rocky loved Marietta as he kept returning over the years. John Hartford, song writer and vocalist, also loved Marietta for its unique history and for its location at the confluence of the Mighty Ohio and Muskingum rivers.

My son, Lonnie, who was a youngster at the time, and I spent the day cruising with him on the Valley Gem as we soaked in the beauty and history of this place I call home. Lonnie was an up-and-coming vocalist and song writer as well so it remains a memorable day for us. David Frost, I found to be somewhat of a nerd, but very intelligent. When he arrived in Marietta his immediate priority was to find a comb. Yes, a comb. Guess who took him to buy a comb? And guess who paid for the comb with no argument from him? As complicated as he was, he enjoyed the ambiance of our river city and was most appreciative of Marietta College.

I met most of these well-known individuals while hosting them as president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce. In all of the aforementioned cases, Marietta College played a significant role in their visits. Marietta College always welcomed us and opened its campus to our guests.

And I would be remiss not to mention our own Kent Tekulve who has returned to Marietta College and our community a number of times over the years. I know Marietta College is very proud of him and I’m sure he considers this his second home.Yes, David McCullough is the most recent person of prominence to visit Marietta, but he will not be the last.

Marietta, OH, the place I call home.

Joan Dearth

Marietta