My family has always enjoyed the "Our Town" specials that air on Channel 3. When we read last June that WPSU was returning to Warren after 15 years to make another edition, my son, Nigel, and I jumped at the chance to be part of it. We brainstormed various options to tell the story of the community. Confident that we had an original idea we went to the organizational meeting at the Library Theatre to discover that at least two other groups of volunteers had similar "original" ideas. That's show biz!
We explored several other options, but nothing panned out. With the deadline for submissions looming, we took a break from loading gear for the Kwik Fill Kinzua Classic and headed downtown for a late lunch. As we passed the corner of Hickory and Pennsylvania I glimpsed the doorway of Riverside Racing tucked in between The Crossing and Gaughn's Drug Store and casually said, "You know, I've walked by this door thousands of times since the eighties and always wondered what was going on up there on the 3rd floor" We had a story idea-and this one panned out!
A few days later we were immersed in the world of radio controlled racing. Nigel and I quickly got caught up in the excitement. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a recreational activity in which whole families were participating together. Turns out that it doesn't matter if you're seven or seventy with radio controlled racing-everyone can race more or less on equal footing. We learned it is possible to purchase a radio controlled car right off the shelf and compete, which is how most people begin with the activity. What was especially impressive was the skill and care that many people put into customizing their cars to give them a competitive edge. You won't learn those kind of practical and transferable skills from a video game!
The coming cold weather will find us indoors more often. Right now is the perfect time to consider what hobbies you might be interested in for the next several months. Hobbies help us pass time constructively, develop skills, have fun, and reduce stress. Group activities provide opportunity for socialization, which is so important during the cold weather months. (If you are stumped for ideas, I know that there are over 40 nice people at Riverside Racing who would love to introduce you to their sport. Their new race season is just getting underway now.)
The "Our Town" specials have been a highlight of my television viewing these last 17 years because there is always something exciting to discover about the communities throughout the region. A nice surprise resulting from my participation in this production was that I discovered something new about my own hometown!
"Our Town Warren" airs on WPSU-TV this Thursday, October 17 at 8:00 PM. It will also stream live at wpsu.org/live.
Ian Eastman, M.A. promotes the health and well being of individuals, couples, and families at Family Services of Warren County, a charitable agency that provides counseling, substance abuse services, and support groups. Help Family Services reach 200 "likes" on Facebook by October 31. Just like its page at www.facebook.com/fswcinc and invite your friends and family to do the same.