We’re only in the second month of 2018, and already this has been a memorable year. All because of the people I’ve met, or at least written about.
My Sunday columns have been about three Middletown longtime barbers, a mother whose life changed all because she went to a dinner, a closed bike shop and the POW who opened a photo shop.
Here’s a look at the inspiring people we’ve met in the past month:
1. The three barbers
If you got a minute — OK, more like an hour, even if you don’t need a haircut — stop by Squire Barber Service on Roosevelt Boulevard in Middletown. After talking and listening to Bob Youtsler, Pete Kurtz and Ishmael “Charlie” DeBord, you will leave feeling better about this world.
2. A Purple Heart winner who made Middletown his home
Middletown historian Sam Ashworth sent me an email about the passing of Bill Davidson. I only knew Davidson as the owner of Davidson Photo Shop.
But after talking to Ashworth and interviewing one of Davidson’s six children, Michael Davidson, I learned that Davidson was a prisoner of war during World War II.
3. The lost shop
I knew there was a story to tell after Middletown Schwinn, which opened in 1969 and was sold in 1991, was demolished. Thanks to Jerry Gillespie and his sister, Alice Root, who shared some stories about the family-owned bike shop, readers were able to reminisce about some of their favorite childhood memories
4. All they need is a chance to feel pampered
For Cyndi Newton, she came out of her shell after attending Ladies Night Out last year.
Before that, she was a “homebody,” someone who rarely left her Middletown residence because she was too consumed with babysitting her eight grandchildren and caring for her daughter who has autism. Newton, like many women, put others — children, grandchildren, everyone — before herself.
Then Newton, 49, read something on Facebook about Ladies Night Out, an annual event that provides women an opportunity to be pampered.
“It was a way to get away from the kids and grandkids for a night,” Newton said.