If there is any silver lining to last week's flooding here in Oshkosh it could be a chance to bring the city closer together. I've seen several examples of it already. On Saturday, I was in the store behind a group of high school girls covered in mud and muck. They had spent the day helping clean up Lourdes High School--which saw several lower level classrooms, storage areas and both gymnasiums flood out. Now if you know anything about teenage girls, there is nothing they hate more than being covered in smelly muck and being seen in public. But those girls were out there telling stories about what they had done to help clean up the building, almost wearing that slop as a badge of honor.
In another positive note, one of the guys in my neighborhood went door to door on Saturday just making sure that everyone was doing okay and seeing if they needed any help cleaning up. Fortunately, my wife and I didn't need his help--but we did see him helping a few others who did have water come in the basement. That's the definition of a "good neighbor". I also saw a lot of that reporting from some of the hardest hit areas on Thursday night. I talked to at least a half-dozen people who were helping an elderly neighbor pump water out of the house or get their belonging to a higher level. There was even one man helping a young family get their baby and supplies to a safer place.
It really makes you proud to see that. There was no concern about being a northsider or a westsider. We were all neighbors that night and we were stepping up to help each other. Wouldn't it be great if we could stay "together" in that way and keep up that commuity spirit in the future? Maybe those development, school improvement and community image problems might be solved as well.