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Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Make It Middletown Ron......

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VietVet View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 13 2019 at 2:22pm
Story from the Journal....

MIDDLETOWN —
The Middleton community is officially asking director Ron Howard to film his upcoming movie version of the book “Hilbilly Elegy” in and around the city.

The Middletown Visitors Bureau has sent the Academy Award-winning director a video touting Middletown.Jeff Payne, Downtown Middletown Inc. executive director, said that the idea to do this impromptu video came from Mary Huttlinger, Middletown Visitors Bureau executive director. He said the entire video was filmed during the monthly First Friday event in downtown Middletown.

The video features local business owners such as Ami Vitori reminding Howard of how much he likes small towns, to Heather Gibson, owner of the Triple Moon Coffee Company, where Howard has been spotted several times getting a latte or his favorite sandwich, the Bad Hunter, to Mayor Larry Mulligan saying how much he’d like to declare a “Make it Middletown Ron” day.

Howard is directing the film adaptation of “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” that was written by J.D. Vance about growing up in Middletown and in Jackson, Ky. The memoir was a best-seller released in 2016.

For the past several months, Howard has been visiting Middletown as part of his preparations to direct and produce the $45 million Netflix movie. Last month, Howard stopped by Triple Moon and donned a hat and posed for photos with a couple of employees.“A lot of people found out and put the word out and the buzz was incredible,” Payne said. “It was all hands on deck for about 48 hours.”

Huttlinger said she can’t take full credit for the idea came about when she and Susie Hatton were kicking around some ideas recently. They determined that “they should go big or go home to let Ron Howard know how important this movie is to the city.”Huttlinger solicited more than 20 short videos and compiled it into the two-minute video that is on the MVB Facebook page and on YouTube. She said the video was finished on Wednesday and posted online on Thursday.......



This article focuses on the downtown area once again. It is almost as if the rest of the city doesn't exist to these downtown supporters. Richter and the Journal are the mouthpieces that constantly promote the downtown on behalf of the city leaders and do not seem to want to sponsor businesses nor interests outside their precious downtown area. The east end activity, which has overshadowed the downtown area for decades, has no publicity as to attraction nor support from city leaders.

It is rather apparent that this city has a bad case of tunnel vision in this video and seems to want to do everything to promote the dam downtown while offering nothing toward support for businesses in other parts of town. Downtown businesses seem to enjoy free advertising when offering a video like this. Why isn't this practice done universally for all businesses in town? Amy Vitori has the added bonus of being a public sector council member AND getting some free business advertising in the private sector portion of her life as well. Past Journal articles have been written promoting her business endeavors free of charge. Doesn't this seem a bit "awkward" to some? Perhaps even a conflict?

Why is that city leaders? After all, we do have the other 47,000 people living here that are not in the downtown interest core but live here nonetheless. Why no interest in what they may want for their city? Your interest seems to be catering to a handful of downtown interest citizens while the majority are ignored. The downtown agenda appears to have been forced on the majority living here despite that majority having no interest in what is offered by downtown merchants. Why the obsession with forcing success downtown? JMO

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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spiderjohn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2019 at 8:22am
Interesting...I hope filming is done here.

However there are a couple of ironies....

Secondly, if you have read the book, little to none of the story takes place in the downtown area. That part of town was dead and dormant throughout the author's young life. Most of the story takes place around mid-Central Ave and on McKinley St.

Mostly is the in your face hypocrisy displayed by quite a few local big players. They were not happy about this biography and how the local environment was portrayed. They maligned the author's view of the class levels and his rise from his upbringing through his accomplishments to where he is today. The concept "hillbilly" was particularly upsetting. "This is not whom we are" and we are above this branding in status, lineage and lifestyle.

Now they fully embrace it all, pleading to be used and included.

Could "Hillbilly Day" be soon in coming?

Ron Howard and JD Vance are stellar proven entities who rise above this to do what is necessary to tell the story, and probably have the compassion to do things locally. Maybe they can also depict the city as one who has also risen above prior status and is headed back to better times? As the book implied--not just a tale about a young man/family and a Midwestern industrial town, but a regional depiction of a forgotten class of Americans deserving of status in today's society also?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2019 at 9:56am
"Mostly is the in your face hypocrisy displayed by quite a few local big players. They were not happy about this biography and how the local environment was portrayed. They maligned the author's view of the class levels and his rise from his upbringing through his accomplishments to where he is today. The concept "hillbilly" was particularly upsetting. "This is not whom we are" and we are above this branding in status, lineage and lifestyle."

Interesting observation spider.

IMO, the statement above re-enforces what I have mentioned all along.......

Middletown leaders and big wigs either don't understand or won't admit lower standards/class levels as to the demograhics of Middletown as it is now. It is also indicative of the thinking by downtown retailers as well. Doesn't appear to me they are in touch with the city constituency. Most here, are not interested in what they are offering. They seem to be in denial related to that topic. This city has always been middle class blue collar although the class level seems to be declining in recent years. It is in deterioration mode IMO. We have fallen from middle class to lower middle class in some respects. Any branding indication of upper "lineage, status and lifestyle" left the building long ago for the most part. The town has simply lost much of it's status and influence over the years. The upper status segment of town either passed on or left town for more affluent areas. The old Armco (AK) and Black Clawson execs are evidence of that. It says something when they want to entertain clients in a more professional environment out of town. Furthermore, IMO, the resident clientele of this town has gone down a few notches as to the quality of the people now living here. That could also be a reflection of the country overall as well. Societal character has taken a turn south the last few decades. Just seems to me, judging by the police and fire/EMS activity, property upkeep, vacancies (buildings and lots) and general appearance of the city, we are disintegrating when considering acceptable behavior/conditions here and nationwide.

I will be interested in seeing how Middletown is portrayed by Vance and Howard in this upcoming movie. Vance grew up in this city at a later time than we did and we both have recollections of the way it was in better times. I don't remember growing up McKinley and Central Ave locations being necessarily impoverished. Perhaps they have gotten worse over time. There are much worse areas of town than this location. But, then again, there are areas of this city that were once decent, respectable areas and are now occupied by property owners who either don't have the funds for upkeep or don't care what their properties look like. It seems that the movement started in the south and west sides and slowly moved east, north and northeast. A comparison of the differing times between our time and Vance's time are inevitable for me.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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swohio75 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2019 at 2:52pm
What's the old saying, if you can't beat'em join'em.

The book is published; the film is being made.  So what not turn the page and help the town hopefully reap the potential economic gain that could result from local film production.  

Not to mention, it gives others a platform to tell their story to cast, crew, producers.  

Perhaps a chance to turn a perceived negative into a positive. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2019 at 5:14pm
swohio75:

"What's the old saying, if you can't beat'em join'em."

Not trying to beat them. Will never join them simply because I don't agree with their game plan for the city nor how they execute city operations in some respects. Just trying to suggest that there is a percentage of silent, city identified as non-important people living here that have a different agenda for our city.

"So what not turn the page and help the town hopefully reap the potential economic gain that could result from local film production."

A great idea and I hope all goes well with the outcome.

As to any potential economic gain......I would welcome any gain from this endeavor........the only question here is what will the city do with that gain as it relates to any positive, thoughtful contributions to ALL who live here, not just the downtown supporters where most effort and monetary support seems to go to be wasted IMO. Time to start focusing on other parts of town don't you think? Will any gain be confined to potential prosperity only in the downtown area?

It would appear, the only "help" this town asks for relates to their interests and master plan that doesn't necessarily include ALL who call Middletown home. The same old people called upon, giving the same old types of suggestions, most closely tied to the city mantra, yields no new ideas or directions. We have a skipping record that we continually play here with little progression to monitor. We are not growing as compared to other communities as a result. Hell, just look at Hamilton for comparisons. JMO
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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