The "Welcome To Chico" sign in south Chico on Hwy 99 has looked anything but welcoming lately. It has been gradually wearing down over the last few years and a particularly heavy storm this past Winter left it looking like something out of a low-budget horror flick. (Think Norman Bates and the hotel on the hill....yikes!)
Of course there was the usual flurry of Tell-It-To-The-ER comments..."who's responsible for that ugly thing...it's an embarrassment...SOMEBODY needs to do SOMETHING!" But wait...who is SOMEBODY?
It's interesting that these types of situations always generate a lot of calls to the Chamber of Commerce. But then again we get calls when people want to know where they can buy a bigger frying pan and how to get rid of bedbugs. Honestly...
This is one of those things that everyone wants to claim ownership of when it looks great, and point to others as being responsible when it goes bad. The reality is pretty muddy. As far as I can tell the sign is on private property, but was built by volunteers with private money...a very, very long time ago.
In any case it was immediately clear that it would take money and labor to get it fixed. There was demolition of the old sign to do, reinforcement of the underlying skeleton and reconstruction of the exterior. So who ya gonna call?
Never fear...this is Chico and things get DONE here. The flurry of calls caught everyones attention...the discussion grew...and then suddenly...LOOK, UP IN THE SKY! IT'S A BIRD...IT'S A PLANE...IT'S DINO CORBIN!
Yes, Chico has Superheros. A lot of them. And usually in the front of the pack waving the rally flag is Dino Corbin of Deercreek Broadcasting. Radio is his day job, but community service is his passion. If you know him at all, you know that for sure.
And Dino KNOWS people. A lot of people. People who, like him, love to give back to their community in quiet and unassuming ways. People who will not only fork over their hard earned cash to fund a project, but will slap on a nail bag, fire up their tractors, draw up the design, arrange for the permits and get the doggone job DONE!
People like Gage Chrysler and Steve Seegart of Modern Building Company, Frank Solinsky of Payless Building Supply, Tom Dauterman of Thomas Manufacturing, Danny Andreasen of Cleanrite Buildrite, Alex DuBose of Guy Rents, Keith Kuykendall of First Impression Signs and Roger Hart at 3Core.
And when these folks start rolling, they are a force to behold!
I have not doubt that this sign will be in beautiful shape in no time at all. And when it's finished, these folks won't stand around slapping themselves on the back and shouting from the rooftops "Look what we did...We are AWESOME!"
Nope. They'll probably just shake hands, nod 'nice job' to each other, and go on back to their real jobs. They will have made a tangible difference in the aesthetics of our community and they won't expect a damned thing for it. Because that's the kind of people they are.
Most people will never know how much these folks do for our community because they don't ask for our thanks, but I think we should all be a heck-of-a-lot more appreciative of them, and many others just like them, every single day. And the next time you hear someone bad-mouthing business in this community, kindly remind them of what YOU know that they obviously don't. Business people in Chico make good things happen. The Chico Chamber of Commerce knows that, and we are deeply grateful to all of them.
Just because they don't wear capes, doesn't mean they aren't SUPERHEROS!