Leavenworth has a new addition to its array of highway signs celebrating famous Leavenworthians. Track star Amy Hastings, who competed in the London Olympics in 2012 and is a 10-time collegiate All-American, was honored this month with a new sign.
She joins the esteemed ranks of Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge, basketball star Wayne Simien, folk singer Randy Sparks, and Medal of Honor recipients Roger Donlon and Chuck Hagemeister.
The signs speak volumes about the pride community members feel when it comes to celebrating some of our most famous and honored natives or residents.
Surprisingly, there is no sign for perhaps our most famous resident, William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, although there are several large murals on downtown buildings and a community festival named in his honor.
The signs are a good idea, though they do not offer much of an opportunity to ponder the stature of those named when breezing by at 45 miles an hour.
When 'hometown boy (or girl) makes good' he or she would be better served – and perhaps the community at large, too – if we would organize the signs in an area where people could actually walk leisurely along and take in the information.
Downtown Leavenworth would be the perfect location for a Leavenworth Walk of Fame with stars embedded in the sidewalks. Many other communities celebrate their celebrities or distinguished in such a manner, and they can be fun and informative for tourists and hometown residents alike to walk over the stars and learn about or remember who came from the community.
The stars would probably be best suited on Delaware and Choctaw streets, but could expand as needed.
Besides those already honored with the signs, there have been many famous officers, soldiers and judges who have called Leavenworth home at one time or another and could give a starting list of 15 to 20 stars, with perhaps one new star added each year.
This idea has likely been kicked around before but it would require some funding, and that has probably stalled the idea in the past. If Main Street, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, merchants and the city combined their efforts, the expense should be reasonable and manageable.
Personal touches such as a Walk of Fame that not only pay tribute to our hometown hereos, but could draw metro dwellers into our city to shop and dine would be well worth the cost.