Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sleepy Village, World Hub

Regular readers are getting to know our sleepy little community, Winona Lake, that surrounds its namesake body of water.

Life is easy; life is slow. Today, even at 4:30, the summer heat is a bit much for us so we're inside. I'm on my next puzzle.

This evening, we'll drive back to Kokomo as Mike has an appointment. Then, returning with us will be my buddy, a freshly retired teacher, who is just dying to teach me how to play bridge.

Anyway, a stone's throw from our lake is Warsaw, Indiana. If you drove through, you'd compare it to most mid sized Midwestern cities. However, many make this a destination: Warsaw is the world headquarters of 3 of the 5 makers of artificial replacement joints. It calls itself, rightly, the Orthopaedic Center of the World.

Now what does that mean? For starters, Warsaw has a very low unemployment rate. A neighbor who works on the line can work 7 days a week, if he wants to. My brother-in-law, a local technical educator, says that the three companies are a source of money and technology to the local schools.

And then there's one founder, Dr. Dane, who adopted Winona Lake about 20 years ago and with historical grant money, has lead to a renaissance on the lake. We looked up one day and all of our utility wires were buried; our street was newly paved over improved sewer lines; new curbs and lots of plantings.

Last year, Winona Lake gave every resident 2 trees, free, if we would let the Boy Scouts plant them on our property. We said, "Well, sure." The place is looking good.

Also, these three businesses invest lots of money in 'Quality of Life' activities for their employees and for the rest of the city. So, Friday night, as the sun was just thinking about setting, the hub and I sat on the grass in Warsaw's Central Park, for BLUES AND BARBECUE. The featured performer was Duke Robillard and his band. Further back in the park, at the edge of Central Lake, large BBQ half drums were smoking and cooking. The ribs were also gratis.

This week it was Depuy. So, thanks, Depuy!

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