I received a note the other day from someone who I have not seen in a long time, although we do keep in touch long distance via Facebook. At the end of the note, she said:
"I really enjoy your Ohio River blog, your photos, and the tales of your adventures. It's a place that is the backdrop for so much of my life, and I miss it when I am gone. I feel a little vulnerable when I cannot orient myself with respect to a river wherever I am."
That made me feel better, and it explains how I and a lot of people I know feel about the river, whether we can put it in those words or not.
This morning, though, they got me to thinking.
Most young people here in the Huntington-Ashland metro area who move away to start a career or a family don't move to another community along the Ohio River. They move to North Carolina, to Columbus OH or Lexington KY. Seldom do I hear of someone I know moving to Cincinnati, Louisville or Pittsburgh. I have no idea, of course, where young people in places such as Paducah or Owensboro or Wheeling aspire to live.
I just started wondering why kids around here don't go to a river city. It could be that no city along the Ohio River has the kind of opportunities they seek, and we hear a lot more positive about Columbus or Lexington than we do about Cincinnati or Louisville.
Maybe someday I'll have an answer. I just don't have one now.