Christmas spirit evident throughout city


Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

Shawano is a beautiful city all year, but it is particularly charming during the Christmas season. Driving down our city’s main street lined with lighted Christmas trees, snowflake banners, colorful wreaths and decorated store windows resembles a Rockwell picture.

The lit trees located in the Spirit of Shawano Park on the corner of Main and Green Bay streets add to the ambiance of the downtown. The merchants on Green Bay Street have decorated their stores with lights and trees, too, adding to the festive mood of shoppers.

The other day, my hubby and I stopped to have a hot chocolate at Beans and Books Coffeehouse LLC. We could just feel the joy of the season in the air. As we continued with our shopping, so many friendly employees as well as customers greeted us with a smile and “Merry Christmas.” It was a truly pleasant shopping experience.

While I was having lunch one noon at Home Plate LLC, Terry Knope brought in a wonderful handcrafted bird house. He said it’s a family project. His wife, brother and sister-in-law assist with the cutting, gluing, staining, paper work, etc. He showed us the pictures of the variety of houses they make: delightful and unique. The prices are reasonable.

Terry said: “We aren’t making them for a profit, we just try to cover the cost of the materials. We do it because we enjoy the family time together, and hopefully making others happy too.”

You can contact Terry or his wife, Sally, to place your order. A birdhouse, along with a bag of bird seed, would make a great Christmas gift, wouldn’t it?

It is too bad that Badger’s Best is closing here in Shawano. I was talking with someone the other day who mentioned what a great Justice Center the building would make for the Shawano Police Department, Shawano County Sheriff’s Department, probation and parole, the district attorney’s office and perhaps others. He suggested there could be substantial savings to taxpayers by joint law enforcement training and sharing utility, maintenance and insurance costs. He commented that it could also help solve the storage space issue. Some of the best suggestions have come from community members, so I just thought I would pass his idea along.

It got me to thinking it might even be a good City Hall/Shawano Municipal Utility facility. Just food for thought and future planning.

Apparently, the demolition of the former Shawano Medical Center was a much bigger project than anticipated. I remember hearing the building would be removed and the space seeded by the end of August. It will be nice when the property is cleaned up and can be properly marketed.

My heart goes out to Doug Erdman and his family. Doug’s son, Scott, has gone through several major surgeries, and he needs our prayers. Doug is such an optimistic person who always has a smile and a pleasant word for everyone. He is a strong supporter of our community, and I hope he can feel this community’s arms wrapping around him and his family during this difficult time.

I talked with Al Boyd the other day. His voice broke as he talked about how the community stepped up and helped put a new roof on the American Legion building. He said it was amazing how folks like Rory Buss, Shawano County Job Center, etc. came forward to help. He commented about how much the veterans appreciate the love and support they are shown by so many.

Questions have been raised if there is a new cab company in Shawano. Several “different” cabs have been seen traveling throughout the city (Brown Cab and Shared Rides). The cabs are actually loaners being used by the City Cab company (Running Inc.) while a few of the city cabs are being repaired.

I was excited to learn a new clothing store will be located on the corner of Division and Main. Rumor has it that it will feature not only western clothing, but also a variety of other name brand clothing as well.

I hope our local businesses have your support during this shopping season. They depend upon this time of the year to boost their year’s bottom line. If we want our community to thrive, we need to do our part. Shopping online has become popular, but if we don’t help our businesses, we can’t complain when they close. Their prices may be cheaper, but I doubt the online companies will locate here and support our tax base.

Somehow, not only for Christmas,

But all the long year through,

The joy that you give to others,

Is the joy that comes back to you.

– John Greenleaf Whittier

Answer to last week’s trivia question: The first elementary school in the city was Lincoln School, erected in 1872.

This week’s question: In what year was the Recreation Center built?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.