Dayton ChronicleApril 29, 1987

Editor, Dayton Chronicle:

I have lived in Dayton for one month less than two years. When I arrived at the end of May, 1985, I was newly retired from the military, without resources, with only a potential job.

 Things are a little bit better now. I own a thriving business on Main Street, Manuscripts International, that injects a $250,000 annual payroll into the regional economy, of which over $190,000 stays right here in Dayton. (They say that money goes around about six times, so that’s a cool million that wasn’t here two years ago!). I own a beautiful home on Clay Street that has recently been accepted with other historical Dayton homes into the National Historical Register. I am the Republican Precinct Chairman of the Rainwater Precinct, and I and my wife, Christine, are your State Committeeman and woman on the State Republican Party Central Committee.

I have one more responsibility; I chair the Dayton Revitalization Committee. And that is what this letter really is all about. Dayton has been on an economic downslide for at least ten years–some of you tell me for twenty- five or thirty. How long this trend has …. lasted is not really so important as how much damage it has caused.

When I walk around Dayton, I seen a archetypical American small town with broad, tree lined boulevards, stately old homes, beautiful churches, a good school, lovely parks, a growing downtown, and I see nearby spring, summer, fall and winter recreational facilities. Two years ago I found success in Dayton, Ski Bluewood is fin- ding success, other people who see the potential this town offers are finding success. This is an element here, however, that stands out sharply. Most of us are newcomers (although there are obvious exceptions). My days have been sixteen to eighteen hours for two years. My dedicated staff has worked long and hard to help me reach success. I .know Stan Goodell and his Ski Bluewood staff have worked equally hard. The other successful business have people who work just as hard.

At Dayton Revitalization Committee, there is a core of dedicated long-time residents who have been trying to get things off dead center for years. The same group of people have labored every year with little or no assistance from the rest of the community. John Bowles, our new postmaster, jumped into the middle of things as soon as h arrived last year. He heads the Dike Committee with Revitalization, and among other things he is now also President of the Chamber of Commerce. Bill Dendurent of Ski Bluewood has successfully solved the problem of our city banners, while working a twenty-four hour day for Stan. Christine, my wife, assumed responsibility for the Dayton cleanup, while having to travel to Germany to assist her newly, widowed mother-in-law and supervise the construction of a place for her to live.

I am not going to list the names of the Revitalization Committee regulars because I don’t want to leave anyone out. But this small core of dedicated, long-time residents of Dayton deserve more help than they are getting. They have worked hard for years. We newcomers are working hard for our own success and the success of our adopted community. But what’s wrong with the rest of you? We’re burning out we need some help! If one hundred or one hundred fifty of you were to attend the next Dayton Revitalization meeting on Wednesday, May 6, ready to make a positive contribution to our beautiful community, the difference in the coming months would astonish you.

We do not need sixteen hours a day from you. Just an hour a week would do. Time we can count on regularly. We are working on the Depot Festival (we need a lot of help), on the Mustard Ditch/Touchet River dike bridge (we need a lot of help), on the courthouse restoration (we need a lot of help), on Flour Mill Park (we need a lot of help), on downtown improvements to attract outside business (we need a lot of help), on ways and means of boosting our available finances for doing these things (we need a lot of help). Do you get the point?

It’s not hopeless, folks. I found success in two years here, So did Ski Bluewood. So have others. Please help us make it happen for the entire community.

—R.G. Williscroft
408 E. Main St, Dayton

Submariner, diver, scientist, author & adventurer. 22 mos underwater, a yr in the equatorial Pacific, 3 yrs in the Arctic, and a yr at the South Pole. BS Marine Physics & Meteorology, PhD in Engineering. Authors non-fiction, Cold War thrillers, and hard science fiction. Lives in Centennial, CO.

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