Growing together as we grow in our community | As I See It

  • Thursday, November 2, 2017 3:30pm
  • Opinion

Just as you residents care about our beautiful city, I also try to keep track of what is going on with Kent’s people.

Citizens, our children’s education, protecting our property, our safety and other things like the railroad crossings. I believe that pretty much sums it up in our minds.

It isn’t hard to see that there are a lot of things to worry and fret about, if we are inclined to do that sort of thing, and of course we are inclined. Who would I be trying to fool if I told you that I wasn’t inclined?

We have seen so much diversity in our city in the last few years that it is hard to imagine where everybody came from and why aren’t some countries declaring zero population.

Don’t take it wrong, I love it. I am retired Navy, and one of my favorite pastimes from the first time that I ventured to Japan’s Ginza in 1964 to the first time I walked the Etowan in Korea in 1994, a total love for culture and people from all countries developed inside of this sailor.

I was on a train, not unusual in Japan, and met a Japanese lady who spoke to me in English, surprising me, and directed me to sites to see. After a long pleasant conversation, I ask where she lived and she said, “In San Francisco, married to a Marine and here to visit my family.” Needless to say, I was extremely surprised coming from that encounter with my first diversity wake-up.

I was due to marry a Greek girl in Athens, Greece until her father and my commanding officer intervened, Dad taking her one way and my CO taking the ship the other.

Consequently, I love to walk through the corner by Smith and Kent-Kangley, smiling with a tip of the hat, then go down to the China Wall for a stroll through little Asia. Phenomenal.

I stand at our railroad tracks and watch for my retired Navy commanding officer, who is an engineer on some train somewhere. That is Kuhn Jolakay, whom I served under in Thailand, which constitutes the name, but the point being I even enjoy watching the trains stop us.

I lived in Hammond, Indiana while attending college. There are 105 railroad tracks within Hammond. I can’t convey to you how many times that I woke up after the train went by. Always set your parking break when you stop for a train because it’s better to sleep before the tracks rather than under the train, my last thought before my wait.

I think often of personal safety as I tour our town. Our residents, our friends, our family must remain safe and must not be afraid to walk, stroll, or actually, just enjoy being in our own homes without fear. A smile and a greeting, a tip of the hat, “here I will get that door for you,” in any language, is still very, very appropriate. A smile is international, a helping hand has no borders and kindness is supreme among city family here in our beautiful America, our gorgeous Washington and our Kent, with people who have families whom they love.

We do have things that we must deal with – construction in abundance, trains in abundance, people in abundance – but we also have quicker minds, more open-minded willing people to deal with all the growth. We do have some who are sneaking in under the shadows and could cause some worry, but we also have a police force that is totally dedicated to keeping us safe. Our Kent Police often have a thankless job, but in our Kent we support them. I have observed citizens showing appreciation, just waving to them with a thankful smile. Some actually stand a little distance as to not distress the officer, and verbally show appreciation.

I am so thankful to live in a place with “ya’ll.” I’m sorry, I can’t translate that into another language, but being a Kent resident, you know what I mean.

Longtime Kent resident Don Dinsmore regularly contributes to the Kent Reporter.

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