No secret, I am from a small town, and I adore it. Yes, that small town is Hazard, Kentucky. One of the main reasons that I started my blog was to showcase how unique, interesting and beautiful Hazard was in the past, is in the present and can be in the future. I've moved away, and ventured right on back. I've settled down here, and I am raising my children here. I could write a book on all the wonderful things about this place, the land, the people, the history, but I am only one person. It is so important for all of us who live here to stop being so negative about it, and take action in a positive direction to try and better it, not only for us, but for our children and our grandchildren.
I have posted many pictures of a sprawling downtown Hazard area in the past, a booming La Citadelle, streets lined with cars, and city sidewalks that are littered with PEOPLE. Why is it such a stretch to think that Hazard could be that way again? That our city could be restored back to it's former glory. We read about towns like Whitesburg and Pikeville who are bringing in new forms of revenue and businesses to supplement their dwindling economy. Why are we any different?
All of these things things start with people and ideas that later form into realities. Where is our young generation? It's time for us to step up and take the reigns. Why not? Why not us? We are the ones that will be here for the next forty of fifty years? We are the ones that will raise our kids here, send them to get an education here, perhaps they will settle here as well, and our grandchildren will start the same cycle. Why would we not want to take steps forward in a direction that they could potentially benefit from and be proud of?
It all starts with ending the negativity and bringing positive light to this place. Yeah, no doubt, this town has it's fair share of problems, but instead of sitting around and complaining about it, why not get up and try to come up with a solution. Get involved, talk to people, come up with ideas. It is so easy to take part in the community here, simply because we are a small place. If you have a voice, why not share it? Especially for something good.
We have many wonderful things going on, so I am not saying that we aren't getting there, but there is still so much more that can be done. Many are doing their part to get the ball rolling on restoring downtown, there have been new businesses to pop up, and more and more organizations to better ourselves have been established. Hazard is making progress, and that is AWESOME.
In short, stop letting people talk badly about the town you were born and raised in. If you live here, especially. Why would you not want to show the parts of Hazard that are unique, or cool? That is what I do, and I have gotten a wonderfully warm reception in doing so. If you are from Hazard but live away from here, why wouldn't you talk about the things that you remember Hazard fondly for, instead of tearing it down or belittling it, especially to people who may not know anything different than what you tell them. The first step is to just simply, be proud of Hazard, no matter the short comings, the negative press, or just general murkiness. We need more people out there to just say, "Yeah, Hazard is pretty awesome if you just take a deeper look."