4:00pm, Tuesday, May 11th 2004
Convenience Store, Ironton OH
The time is 4:00pm and I head into a convience store for something to drink. I place my drink upon the counter and see a man shuffling magazines on a rack. The man is average height, hair in a ponytail, gold glasses and he wears an Atlanta Braves T-shirt. I approach the man to see if he will do an interview. The man agrees and we proceed. I ask Magazine Man what he would do if he were mayor of Ironton. He tells me, “I would take care of the streets and improve them immensely. I think the streets need to be taken care of… they are horrible!”
I ask Magazine man what types of businesses would thrive in Ironton. He says, “Grocery stores, and more shopping centers. I need somewhere to buy clothes. We used to have shops here where you could buy clothing…we need them here.” When ask the most serious problem facing the city, he responds, “The most serious problem in Ironton is the parking. It is horrible. The streets are in a mess. There is trash everywhere. They need to clean the water drains and the alleys, haul away the junk, and make this town clean again.”
I notice how upset Magazine Man appears. He really feels strongly about the streets and appearance of Ironton. I look down at my notes in order to write his response. I want to give him a little time to collect himself.
I then ask him how Ironton can generate additional funds. “Businesses, Businesses, Businesses. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. There aren’t enough good ones here. Our leaders have to listen. We have to have jobs.” He then elaborates more. “Police officers need to be tougher on crime and get the drugs. We need to get serious about this. We need more police officers. They are our biggest asset.”
I ask Magazine Man if Ironton uses the city’s money wisely. He begins to speak. “No not at all, all the streets suck. I mean, look around you here son. Look out there. Pot holes as big as wheels. We need help here now.”
Magazine Man starts looking busy as many customers come in. I ask him one last question. “Sir, do you believe that the city officials listen to the needs of the people?” “Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a half and half situation. It’s really half and half. Sometimes they do what needs to be done, and sometimes they don’t. I don’t know what the problem really is, but somebody down there in city hall better wake up, get together, and work together. We’re going down hill fast!”
I thank him for participating in the interview. He thanks me for considering him an important individual and considering his views and opinions. He adds, “I read in the paper about you guys coming here. It’s a real honor to do an interview. I hope they’ll listen.” I shake his hand then proceed out the door.