Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
-Ferris Bueller

People often ask me why and how I ended up in Columbus.  Having grown up in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, Columbus is a totally different place and experience than what I was used to.  I ended up here because nine months after graduating college, it was the location of the first place (in my then-career of broadcasting) that offered me a job (and I’ve stayed for other reasons).

I had interviewed at a few other television stations in the months following that walk down the aisle set to Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage’s theme song, but no luck.  So I had an interview with a station here in Columbus almost ten years ago (give or take a few months) provided I could get here on my own.  Not knowing the city, I booked a hotel room (in some online deal) and drove myself out here in my 1986 Buick Century Limited (which even then, was real old).  The hotel was located off of the intersection of Morse Road and Interstate 71,  which, upon my arrival, I found was not close at all to the location of my interview.

The day before the interview, I pulled into Columbus, with plenty of time and energy to waste.  The hotel clerk mentioned a nearby mall, so I headed a few miles down Morse to Northland Mall.  It wasn’t the most modern mall, nor the most lively, but it wasn’t a horrible place to pass some time (however, had I known Easton was a few more miles down the road, I may have skipped Northland entirely).

Did well in the interview, drove back home (at 2 in the morning), and a month later, got the job.  Moved out to Ohio, packing the Limited full, and drove out with King Classic, who helped me look for an apartment.  I found something on the other side of town, much closer to the station.

Even now, I live on the same side of town, and while I’ll go to the eastern side of town for some things, I really haven’t spent much time in that Morse Rd./Northland area.  I was aware that a few years ago, they tore Northland down, because after Easton (and Polaris), business just dried up.

Earlier today, I had to attend a meeting at the Department of Taxation, based in a new building located on the spot of the former Northland Mall.  It was weird going back to this place where even though I spent only a few hours, I had so many vivid memories.  The nervousness, boldness, loneliness and hope I felt that night before the interview all came back to me.  I don’t want to say Northland was a special place (although to some, I’m sure it was), but the memories just hit me again.

Here was this brand spanking new building taking up space on the lot on which, nine years and ten months ago, I had parked the Limited while looking for a way to waste a few hours.  The only remnants of a mall was a lone anchor store, standing vacant without any identity, resigned to an unknown fate.

The last time I was there, I was full of emotion, uncertain of the future.  Today, I went back, just another day.

In some ways, the past ten years have gone by quickly.  It’s striking that I’ve been here this long to notice changes like this.  I think the me back then would have been happy to know that things ended up the way they did.  But then again, I think I expected it.

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5 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Columbus is a great place to start, isn’t it? I love visiting because I realize that I had all the time in the world back then, and the possibilities were endless. Us ONNers went out all the time, and beer was actually affordable! And who could forget Election 2000? I’m glad you joined us at the Network, and that you are now a proud Ohioan.

  2. A touching tale. Perhaps the bigger question is what would it take for you to leave Columbus? Have you been here long enough where the bonds are strong?

    I’ve lived in Columbus my whole life and when doing the occasional job inspection, I find may of the positions exist outside of Columbus, most outside of Ohio. But there’s a huge part of me that has a hard time leaving. I have friends, family, and very strong ties to this town, for better or worse.

    It has its problems like any place else, but it’s otherwise a pretty easy going place to live.

    But I second Ryan, I’m really glad you stayed because some of my favorite memories of this town include you. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the kind words.

    Don’t know why I wrote this-just felt like with everything (the baby, the anniversary that’s today) I was doing some looking back.

    Jim- you’re absolutely right- we had endless possibilities, and Columbus is (and at that time was) a great place to start. Despite all the stuff we had to put up with, the Network was fun (mostly because of the people), and we were front and center (or as front and center as one could be in Columbus) for some historic events.

    MT- I don’t think we’re going to be in Columbus forever. I do have some strong ties, and it is my home now, but who knows what the future holds?

    Either way, I’m really glad you guys (and everyone else, especially The Civee (because she’s the reason I stayed)) were around also.

  4. That was a special weekend, full of memories for me too. Driving the turnpikes in the cramped and overloaded Buick, listening to every Beatles song ever recorded. We apartment shopped all day Sat. before finding “the one” as the snow accumulated that afternoon. I enjoyed helping you order phone and utility service and trying to answer all your questions. But the toughest memory was the ride to the airport on Sunday knowing how much you’d be missed in NJ–and once I heard you say “pop” instead of “soda” I knew you were an Ohioan. Love, King Classic

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