Nicki Meyer passed away on June 13th, 2019. In fact, I was on a conference call with her just before what turned out to be the end. As you may have guessed, the TORCH revitalization of Railroad Street was the topic. Sadly, I had just penned a note to her that didn’t make it to post.
I know this won’t find you in good health, but I hope it finds you in good spirit. I wanted to just jot down a few words of thanks. In the short time I’ve been in Hartwell, you’ve been kind to me and I appreciate that. I know it can be frustrating when the “new guy” comes to town, and you are having to catch him up on the work of the day. 🙂 You’re dedication to this community is worthy of celebration. It reminds me of something Teddy Roosevelt said, “far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” You epitomized that mission. Do rest well during this time. I wish for you all the comfort you need. I think it is ok for you to go ahead and relax for a while. I pray you are surrounded with family and friends, and that peace is in your heart.
In my mind, there is no more fitting way to honor Nicki, than to push the project she was so passionate about across the finish line. I think there is widespread agreement that naming the park Nicki Meyer Railroad Street Park (or something to that effect) is appropriate. I leave you with the words that is inside the TORCH flyer. “Imagine transforming an abandoned block in downtown Hartwell into a community-centric park and regional tourist destination. Picture a pristine welcoming promenade; cool, green, and inviting. Imagine the opportunity to buy a wide variety of local crafts and heart healthy foods, amid an architectural plan that includes a historic depot and train museum, a city marketplace, a train-themed restaurant, a walking path, and much much more. Envision listening to concerts or taking in an outdoor art show in the promenade while your children play in the splash fountain and playground. Now imagine all this connected by a combination walking and biking path featuring wellness/fitness stations and the opportunity to enjoy low impact exercise for any age. TORCH is bringing this vision to life. With your help, private citizens, local corporations, City and state governments, civic organizations and community focused foundations, TORCH is embarking on a multi-year venture. Help us light the torch!”