How Broome County Carousels Inspired One Of The ‘Nicest Places In America’
One of my pastimes, when I'm relaxing at camp on summer weekends and vacations, involves reading. No, I'm not someone who picks up a book to read. I have a hard time concentrating on reading a book. Too many distractions or my mind just starts to wander.
Rather, I read magazines. One that I used to read a long time ago, and over the past year or so, is Reader's Digest.
I just received the latest edition that features the nicest places in America. While Broome County isn't on the list, it has a strong link to once of the place that did.
Reader's Digest Nicest Places In America
It's an annual thing and lists three finalists. Readers send in nominations based on good neighbors, selfless deeds, and acts of community care, according to Reader's Digest.
Well, one of the three finalist communities was Kingsport, Tennessee, and the article revolves around (sorry for the pun) a carousel. I was about to skim past the article since we live in a community that is the Carousel Capitol of the World. And with six of them here for many decades, no one knows carousels more than we do.
Well, just as I was about to skip to the next article, the "Binghamton" name happened to catch my eye just before I turned the page. Now I just had to read the article.
The nomination of Kingsport was because of the story of how a carousel came to be built in this small town and interesting enough according to Reader's Digest, crafted by the residents of the community. But the most interesting part for me was the person who started the dream.
That person, was Gale Joh, a resident of Kingsport, Tennessee, who apparently was born and raised in the Johnson City and Binghamton area. According to Reader's Digest, Joh loved riding our six area carousels and that inspired him to try to get one built in Kingsport.
The article explains the long, hard process that Jon went through to make this a reality. He found the help he needed to make it happen through members of the community Unfortunately, Joh passed away in 2010, but many community members carried on his vision.
300 volunteers, 700 sponsors, and seven years later, the Kingsport carousel was completed according to the Reader's Digest article. And it became that reality due to the vision of a person who hailed from the "Carousel Capitol of the World". He knew what joy it would bring to that small community. Just as six of them do for the Triple Cities.
[via Reader's Digest]
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