A few years ago during the Visitors Bureau’s painstaking quest to have Paducah become a UNESCO Creative City, a local editorial writer scoffed at the idea and commented that it would never produce any “tangible return.”
When I heard that recently from Glenn Denton, Chairman of the Visitors Bureau Board at the time, it reminded me of how often in our community the boo birds squawk the loudest. And then I’m gratified by the reality that the believers go bravely into the fray and realize victory. “No statue was every erected for a critic,” is a favorite quote of Glenn’s. (I like it as well.)
I’ve recently taken on the co-chairmanship of the Columbia Theatre Restoration Task Force. As we go forward with this somewhat daunting task I take heart from so many visionaries who have gone before and achieved great successes in Paducah on behalf of our community and its citizens in a wide variety of ways and means.
Gerry Montgomery believed in downtown Paducah when urban malls were sucking the very life out of historic districts. Ted Borodofsky and Dave Perry were on the cover of Paducah Life magazine in 1995 because they believed that a multi-million dollar performing arts center could become a reality in Paducah. Bill Black and Chris Black have believed for decades that our history is worthy of salvation. Paducah Bank, Bill Paxton, and a host of artists believed that Paducah could become a haven for creativity. Michael and April Cochran have believed in the power of public performance for a generation. Barbara Veazey believes today that an art school can become a reality in the heart of our creative city.
LIFE in Paducah has been enhanced, inspired, enlightened, engaged, encouraged, improved, and otherwise made beautiful by people who believed in a project or a cause or a vision—and then worked hard to make it happen.
In this, and actually in EVERY, edition of Paducah Life Magazine, we applaud and honor those like the stalwart staff of the Visitors Bureau—Mary Hammond, Rosemarie Steele, Fowler Black and Laura Shaumburg—who not only believe, but act.
To every one, every group, every organization, every committee, every business, every entity in this fabulous community that has been a believer, we say a hearty and heartfelt . . . THANK YOU!