OPINION: State of Boyne City

By Chris Faulknor, Publisher

How is Boyne City doing?

I asked that question this week of many people and got a variety of responses.

Some disagreed on the city’s stance on tourism, others had more specific complaints.

Others talked about the positives of economic programs.

 

But I’m not here to talk about the programs.

I’m not going to go on about the economy, and I’m not here to talk about tourism.

I’m here to talk about people.

One thing that nobody can say about Boyne City is that the people are anything less than wonderful.

Several years back, I walked into Local Flavor after my car battery died.

I asked the owner Chris Bandy if he had a pair of jumper cables I could borrow.

To my shock, he tossed me his car keys and said “they’re in the back, but you might as well take my car to jump yours with.”

No questions asked, he just let me use his car.

Another time, I was low on fuel and trying to “coast” into the Marathon station next to Family Fare. I fell short by about 30 feet.

It was hot, I was tired, and this was the last thing I needed.

That is, until someone walked up behind my car and started pushing me towards the pump.

Another person walked up and joined him—both strangers, by the way—and got me the rest of the way.

I walked into inspired living to get my wife a present for a holiday—a birthday, maybe?

Well, I had left my wallet in the car and due to a lack of parking, I found myself a ways away.

I told the owner that I forgot my wallet and I’d just stop back and pick it up tomorrow.

She had no hesitation in bagging up my item and saying “well, if you’re going to pay for it tomorrow anyways, why not just take it with you?”

As I write down these short examples, dozens of others are popping into my head and I just don’t have the room for every single one of them.

I’d love to write all day and share the many stories of kind people throughout Boyne City, but there just aren’t that many pages.

I’d go on about people pulling me out of the snow time after time, spaghetti dinners for sick kids, acts of charity, and a guy named Marty reading my second grade class a story about a frog who forgot his underwear.

And yet, as I share this, I feel like I might not even have to, because you probably already know.

You probably already have your own story where a stranger in Boyne pulled you out of a ditch, loaned you a can of gas, or made you laugh when you thought it just couldn’t get worse.

Each of you know someone who was touched by the glow of Boyne City’s spirited population, and I don’t think I’ll have anyone writing me about how wrong I am.

But why do I feel the need to blather on about this as we share the State of the Community?

Because it’s easy to forget.

If you’re mad because you feel like Boyne City panders to tourists, I can respect that, but remember that you feel welcome every time you drive down Water Street.

If you’re upset because there are empty buildings, I get it, but remember that most businesses in town came up from vacant buildings because someone with a dream looked at them and said “What if?”

Boyne City isn’t perfect.

I have things that frustrate me, and there are plenty of things I don’t agree with.

But disagree as I may, I’ll never forget the feeling of walking into a community and feeling welcomed and cared about.

So why am I writing this today?

I’m writing this because I don’t want anyone to forget the humanity that exists here.

There are issues, but all of those issues can be addressed while remembering that they’re happening in a town with a soul and a heart, and the heart is almost always in the right place.

Keep fighting to make Boyne City better, but remember that you’re dealing with people.

 

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