We're going to be in the Pride Parade this weekend – for the first time.
Let me tell you how much fun it has been to get to this Saturday's event. Fred and Howard would be so proud.
I had a breakthrough – and yes, a "no duh" – moment as last year's Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade marched past my own home's window on High Street.
How in the world does Columbus' original gayborhood not have a float in this event?
One of my greatest moments of collegial pride happened in 2014 when then-Historic Preservation Advocate Sarah Marsom outlined her desire to create a walking tour about German Village's "gay pioneers" who left their imprint on a very early German Village Historic District.
Neighbor and member Tom Grote got so jazzed about Sarah's idea, he decided to pay for the research and implementation.
That led to a John Clark mini-documentary on the pioneers, told in their own words, which you can find on our website.
So back to last year's Pride from the perspective of my High Street balcony. Why don't we have a float? This is our history.
In February, I sent a notice out in Neighbors4Neighbors -- our weekly member email -- to see if anyone was interested in helping. I had 21 people raise their hands. Fantastic.
I also have 18 of those people say they'd never built a float before, so they'd need a leader. I got three who have taken charge and teed us up for this weekend.
Nick Weitzel, new to the neighborhood but already a known volunteer hand and sponsor at the German Village Society through his real estate business, said he would coordinate. Neal Raffensberger (you might know his name from his biz at Grant and Livingston) said he had float experience. Claire and Dan Murphy stepped up to sponsor and round up other sponsors.
And then a brand-new newcomer to Columbus, who actually lives in Olde Towne East, raised her hand.
Cathie Senter has built floats before – many, many floats. She moved here for a job as project manager at Hardlines Design from Wheeling, West Virginia, where she taught preservation and restoration at Belmont College.
The previous float experience was with students at Belmont College. She has also designed and built sets for several community theaters.
So, not only can she envision the build, she has the skills to draw it and construct it – and the skills to put other people to work on pieces of the project.
That's a pretty credible triple-threat.
Now, under Cathie's guidance, more than 20 people have turned out from all over the South Side to help us build.
C'mon out on Saturday to see what we created – or march with us.
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column.