I would imagine the two of you who read this letter regularly would agree that I am not a writer. I am a late 50s, fat, balding man whose training for a career in magazine publishing consisted of 15 years in the surgical business selling to hospitals. I then left a terrific career I enjoyed, with nothing broken, and took a giant leap of faith on Evansville. I bet big.
That’s right. I had enough faith and confidence in our community that my wife and I, with a 1-year-old at home, walked away from total security and income to focus on lifestyle and business content in our community, for very little to no pay and a tremendous debt load. We thought then and now that Evansville was ready, deserving, and would support our efforts. During the time I was in the surgical business, I also did corporate training and would have colleagues visiting Evansville from all over the country for a week or two at a time. I not only would train them, but always made sure to tour them around to my favorite restaurants, retail stores, neighborhoods, etc. I really enjoyed touring them around.
More than once, I heard I was a pretty good ambassador (or part of that word) for our region. It was important to me to show off what we have here, and it still is. I remember a phone call a very sophisticated consultant from New York City took in front of us while visiting our offices more than a decade ago. She replied she was in Evansville, Indiana. The other person made a comment, such as “Aren’t you lucky?” or something close, and our consultant said, “No, no, it’s really nice here.” We know that.
Are we the most forward-thinking, cosmopolitan community, setting style and food trends? I think not. Do most people who live here really give a damn about this? I think not again. In a time such as what we are living in now — with the restrictions on business and a stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 virus — is there any other community you would rather be riding this out in? Any place else you know your friends are ready to step up and help out? Think about your neighbors; you know they are here in any time of crisis or need. Total stranger in need? Evansville always comes through and we take care of our own. We have a caring community of strong, capable, and caring folks who repeatedly show their concern for others in ways both big and strong.
A young man in town had his bike stolen last week. An anonymous concerned citizen bought him a new one in under 24 hours. Evansville cares. Again.
We will get through this as a community and region. Think of how proud we will all be of how we pulled together and helped each other out — again.
Evansvillians not being there for our friends and neighbors? I think not.
As always, I look forward to hearing from most of you!
Todd A. Tucker