Letter to the Editor

Former New Yorker thankful for local support

Thursday, October 29, 2015

To the Editor:

I'm a New Yorker. Not your Big Apple, sky-scraper NY'er, but a dairy-farm raised, Adirondack Mountain-loving' NY'er.

My husband and I made a temporary move to Indiana for employment -- that was 17 years ago (so much for "temporary"'). All of our family still resides in northern NY, so I suppose you could say we're out here 'alone.' I think it's easy to allow yourself to feel like an outsider of sorts, not overly connected to the community because you didn't grow up here. But, after commuting from Indianapolis for eight years, my position at DePauw finally brought us to Greencastle in 2007.

When the women of Greencastle Civic League gave me the green light to start the mural project, I was nervous I wouldn't get the necessary community support to see it come to fruition. Folks don't know me. We didn't go to school together, our dad's aren't on the same bowling team, we don't have stories of "way back when." So who am I to ask for your kindness, your generosity or your support? Well, quite simply, you informed me I'm your neighbor, and that feels awesome.

To the women of the Greencastle Civic League: You didn't laugh me out of the room when I suggested "let's paint murals all over town." Instead, you helped identify locations and ideas, and supported me through drafts and drawings. You painted and laughed alongside me and made this an experience I'll cherish for all my days.

To Ken and Jackie Eitel: Thank you for being my guinea pig. "Have I ever painted a mural? No. Am I an artist? Nope. Can I paint 480 square feet of flowers on your building? Go for it, Amy!" Thank you for that huge leap of faith.

To Jenny and Kent Sullivan: You two are awesome. Seriously. You've made me smile when my stomach was in knots. I will forever feel like part of the Eitel's & Co. Florist family.

To Barbara and Jerry Lewis of Greencastle Heavy Equipment: I never want to return that hydraulic lift. It has been an absolute delight getting to know you both. Jerry is a self-proclaimed "non-artist" artist too. He's a woodworker. Do yourself a favor Greencastle, and stop by their shop on 231 North and see some of his carvings. They're magnificent.

To Headley Hardware: I'm a sucker for quality paint and Valspar Medallion series is the best paint out there. And lucky for us, it's available in Greencastle.

To Eddie Felling of Felling & Felling Law: It was a week before your wedding and you still found time to help me.

To LT from Taylor Made Awards: Thank you for your patience through all of my multiple drafts. So appreciated.

To everyone who came to the wall while I painted -- the words 'thank you' simply don't suffice. I was never alone. It was such an incredible joy and thrill to meet so many new faces.

And finally, to the gentleman who told me "I painted happiness in his town," your kind words could not have meant more to me. Those N.Y. Adirondack Mountains may forever have my soul, but Greencastle, oh Greencastle, you're my home and you've won my heart.

Amy Welch