In previous columns I’ve suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushville had a lot to offer and would be a great place to live. The problem, in the proverbial nutshell, is WE don’t necessarily believe it. The proof that we don’t believe it was brought home to me a few days ago.
Connie and I had dinner out of town on our way home last week. Our waitress, as it turned out, was from here. I said something like, “Oh, you live in Rushville?” Her reply was pointedly telling. She said, “You mean Rush-tucky?” To which I replied, “Yeah, well…” That is precisely the attitude too many people have of this community and it’s a very sad commentary on the lack of civic pride we have in the place in which we live! As long as we think of ourselves in a pejorative way, making progress will be far more difficult than it would be otherwise. We’ve all heard this town described as Rush-tucky, and it’s tough to overcome a negative stereotype like that.
The real question, I think, is can we generate community pride in Rushville, Indiana, to the point where the last thing any resident would want would be to thinking of themselves as living in some sort of ignorant, hayseed, backwater, hillbilly community. So, can it be done? Sure it can. How many of you remember when Indianapolis – a somewhat bigger community than this one – used to be called Naptown? The inference was that Indianapolis was so dull that there was nothing better to do there but take a nap! I doubt many would describe Indianapolis that way today.