The Fountain Pumps Lasted For 14 Years!

• MONEY’S WORTH -- The Central Park fountain was shut off for the season last week.  I always feel a little sad to see it shut down because I know cold winter weather is coming.
    It also looks much more beautiful when there’s sprays, waterfalls, pools and flowers adorning it.
    We got our money’s worth out of the two main pumps that are in the fountain’s inner workings -- they are expected to last about 10 years.
    These pumps, which will probably be replaced before the fountain opens again next year, have lasted 14 years!  I think we got our money’s worth out of them.
    It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been 14 years since the fountain (pictured at the top of this page) was built and sprang to life!  Time is passing too rapidly, isn’t it?
    Considering I spent five years (as a private citizen) collecting donations for it, that means the effort to build a new fountain started almost 20 years ago!  Wow!!  I was just a kid back then!!!
    Many thanks to city staff who work hard to keep the fountain and Central Park looking great!


• WALL OR HALL?  Maybe it doesn’t make any difference one way or the other, but the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce has sent out a request for nominations to the “Wall Of Fame” that is in the civic center lobby at 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza.
    Well, actually, the correct name is “The Decatur Hall of Fame” (photo above) which can be seen in big letters across the wall above the plaques of those honored over the years.
    The Chamber indicates it is looking for nominations to “Honor individuals who have made a substantial contribution and impact on the Decatur Macon County community by nominating for an induction onto the Decatur Wall of Fame at the Civic Center.”
    The nominations must be submitted to the Chamber by Nov. 7th, and those selected will have a plaque on the “wall” of the “hall”.
    It’s definitely an honor for any citizen to be nominated and selected.
    Only a few individuals have been selected during the past 15-20 years and I think all of the previous inductees, except one, have passed away.

• I ALWAYS appreciate Congress-man Rodney Davis making an appointment to come by the newspaper and talk with me for awhile when Congress isn’t in session and I am particularly impressed by his work for veterans and recent legislation that provided more job opportunities for veterans.
    One of the personal stories we talked about related to a photo of Davis and our soldier son, Craig, who were pictured together at the World War II monument in the nation’s capitol a few weeks ago.


 Davis told me that when he arrived early to greet veterans from Central Illinois who were making the “Honor Flight” he saw a lone soldier also waiting for the arrival of the group. 
    Davis said he went over to the soldier (Craig) and introduced himself and Craig asked him what part of Illinois he represented.
    He replied “Central Illinois” and asked the soldier where he was from to which he received the answer “Central Illinois”.
    “What part of Central Illinois?” he asked.
    “Decatur,” came the reply.
    “Are you related to Paul Osborne by any chance?”
    “He’s my dad.”
    Davis said, after that, “I knew I had to take a selfie of the two of us” -- and that’s what we printed a few weeks ago on the back page of the print edition Tribune newspaper and printed above.
    It really is a small world, isn’t it?

 • RECORDING -- I enjoyed sitting down and talking with the two candidates for Macon County State’s Attorney, Jay Scott and Dan Hassinger, in separate one-on-ones recently.
    Although much of what we talked about can be found on the front page and page 19 of this week's print Decatur Tribune edition, there’s a lot more of casual conversations about the race and “off the record”, which is always honored and usually gives me a lot more insight into the candidates.
    One part of the “on the record” conversation is my trusty Panasonic tape recorder (pictured below) that I’ve used for countless years.


 Candidates who see it for the first time do a double take, like they are looking at something from another era -- which they are, of course.
    Over the years, I’ve tried countless other recorders that were small enough to fit in my shirt pocket, but they mostly turned out to be useless over time and constantly needed “upgrading”.
    All I need for my Panasonic is 4 batteries, a cassette and the strength to push the “record” button.
    It has never let me down and stopped a couple of lawsuits from being filed against me many years ago.
    Although I embrace new technology and the production of this newspaper has evolved from what it was when I started decades ago, most of the time I feel comfortable with “old things” that continue to work -- and some may claim that’s because they are a lot like me.  (smile)
    If you think the Panasonic is big, my first recorder was a suitcase-size Webcor which must have weighed a hundred pounds! (I still have it somewhere in a newspaper storage unit.)
Listen to the “City Hall Insider” hour with Paul Osborne on Byers & Co. at 7:00 every Thursday morning over NEWS/TALK 1340 WSOY or visit our website at and find us on Facebook.

​​Central Park Fountain in Downtown Decatur

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