I was standing in an unfinished loft that will soon be an office, looking down on some magnificent landscaping that will soon be an outdoor wedding chapel next to a vineyard. Prof. Ulichne was chatting about local history with our host, whose family had been among the first settlers in Jackson County decades before our own grandparents came over from Europe. I was somewhat overwhelmed and speechless at everything I was looking at.
The wedding chapel and reception hall were news to me. I was trying to get a grasp on all the things our host had accomplished since the last time I'd seen him...Vice President of the Board of Education, whose name I'd seen in the news from time to time, always proud when I'd read of his accomplishments. I'd heard good things about his vineyard and local wine. But to me he was somebody different...
To me our host had always been the kindly pharmacist I only saw when I was sick, back when I lived in that town. Matt's Medicine Store has prospered for more than 20 years, in spite of being located across the street from a discount chain drug store giant. As a pharmacist, he was so kind and knowledgeable that it gave me an idea of what pharmacies used to be like back in the days before Walgreens and CVS.
Looking out at the vineyard and the wedding grounds, I kept thinking, "Matt Mallinson is literally and seriously invested in the future of this town!"
After years of being depressed about the decline of my beloved Sugar Creek, Missouri, here is someone who's creating beautiful things and making the town a better place. He sees the potential and beauty that anyone who's ever loved Sugar Creek knows so well, and he's making it a better place, "for the future," he said that day. "That's why we do everything, right? For our kids and our grandkids."
Congratulations to Matt Mallinson, the new mayor of Sugar Creek! Democracy is strong, and I'm so very proud :)