The Ohio Valley has definitely been getting its share of national attention in recent years, with movie crews, national media and presidential candidates descending on our region for one purpose or another.
The latest bit of attention, in the form of a segment on MSNBC's show "The Cycle" highlights both our history and our trials, but it also helps to showcase something else; the hope of the people of the Ohio Valley as we search for ways to rebuild and flourish.
The show's co-host Krystal Ball - yes that's her real name - recently visited both Homer Laughlin China and East Liverpool, speaking to residents about their experiences and their hopes for the future. The segment aired Monday, but also can be found on the program's website.
It was a bit of a homecoming for Ball who, along with her husband, Jonathan Dariyanani, lived in East Liverpool for a few years. In fact, in the segment she credits the community and its people as being among her influences to get into politics and her run for Congress in 2010.
Ball spoke at great length about Homer Laughlin and its work to retain jobs, even at the expense of making a profit, meeting with company chief Joe Wells and even trying her hand at crafting some of the pottery's world famous Fiestaware. Also mentioned was the recent announcement of Starbucks contracting with American Mug and Stein Co., based in East Liverpool, for a new coffee mug line.
This is one more example where the national spotlight could potentially be good for our area. It is a tale of a small community which has faced more than its share of hardship in recent years, just as many of us in the Ohio Valley. The loss of jobs and population can be difficult for any community to deal with, and it can never hurt to include the names and faces of the people affected instead of just a round of statistics.
At its core, though, it is a story of hope. It is a story of the resilience, hard work and dedication of the Ohio Valley which have shaped our area and will continue to shape it for years to come. It is a story of the American dream, showing there are people who will not quit to achieve it.
We thank Ball and everyone at "The Cycle" for showcasing a bit of our area's part of continuing that dream and hope it serves to inspire others throughout the nation.