Mapping the Sunnaisance?

I do a lot of walking, both for my job and as a way to help keep the weight off.

The walks take me along the same streets, the same scenes…after awhile it all blurs together.

A few days ago, my walkabout took an about face.

My Uncle John and Aunt Sharon from Ohio are retired and their big hobby is going for a drive…and I do mean a drive.

They’ll hop in the rig and drive thousands of miles with no particular destination or schedule in mind…just taking joy in their journey.

The past few years their journeys have brought them here to visit us in Sunnyside. We catch up, look at photos, talk and laugh till late...then the next day they’re off to continue the journey.

Uncle John’s number is on my phone…and when it pops up I know good fun is about to commence.

So, a few days ago he called and said they’d be passing through.

This time around he’d been reading up on Roscoe Sheller and Sunnyside’s connection to the Model T. He and Aunt Sharon wanted to visit the Sunnyside Museum and see my work place on this trip.

Since those spots are within blocks of each other, we parked at the museum and gave them a tour. After they visited the museum, the walkabout took us on the pathway for them to see Sunnyside’s bronze statues, Central Park, the downtown upgrades and a tour of the newspaper office.

We circled back around and walked by the water department building…now destined to be a brewery or winery.

We concluded with a close-up look of the Ren Farrell bronze statue and a peek inside Snipe’s cabin.

My road warrior aunt and uncle were impressed with downtown Sunnyside.

And so was I.

In the process of explaining this and that – like why there seems to be a statue of a man flashing himself (the H. Lloyd Miller bronze in Centennial Square) – it gave me an entirely renewed appreciation of Sunnyside’s renaissance – Sunnaisance? – in the downtown core.

It also reinforced something I’ve been thinking about for some time…we need a walking tour map of Sunnyside.

Maybe city hall, DIG and/or the chamber of commerce can partner together and work up a colorful walking map of our downtown…with keys pointing out the bronzes and other points of interest.

I know at least a couple of folks from Ohio…not to mention our family in the Seattle area…who’d gleefully gobble up those maps.

Uncle John and Aunt Sharon are already talking about next year…visiting this or that business in downtown Sunnyside for a bite to eat, a treat or just a look-around on our next walkabout.

I can’t wait.


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