Shoe Column: Stevens Point is a great place to live

By Tim “Shoe” Sullivan

I’ve lived in Stevens Point, Wisconsin for my entire life. People often ask me why I don’t move. The reason is simple. I like it here.

Stevens Point has so much to offer. Our quaint little town is top notch. You want examples? Okay. Let’s take a little look, shall we?

Point has wonderful parks. A picture of Iverson Park should be on a postcard. More often than not, it is immaculate. The citizens of Stevens Point should be very proud of the greatness of Iverson. That goes for Bukolt Park, too. What a beautiful place, and their ball diamond is utterly fantastic. You also don’t want to forget about the KASH Playground at Mead. Kids come from all over to enjoy what KASH has to offer.

Stevens Point is home to Sentry World, a spectacular golf course. I’m not a linkster, but I hear Sentry World gets rave reviews. Not sure if Carl Spackler tees off there, but a heck of a lot of other folks do. One can also try out the SPCC and the WRCC. We got a lot of golfing venues around here.

Stevens Point has a few breweries, with the granddaddy being the Point Brewery. Pointers have been known to sip the suds on occasion. Schoops abound.

Kathy Kinney of the “Drew Carey Show” and Peter Weller (“RoboCop”) are both from Point.

My next-door neighbor Jim “The Great Oz” runs the world’s largest trivia contest. Pssst. Robert Redford is one of the answers.

Pfiffner Park in Point is the site of the annual Riverfront Rendezvous. You can eat great food, drink beer, listen to bands, and enjoy the fireworks while mingling with people you haven’t seen in a year. And Corn On The Curb is always fun, too.

Our fair town has Easter Egg hunts every year. One time, I worked for the Rec Department and a bunch of us “hid” 30,000 eggs by the bandshell. It took us about four hours. When the mayor blew the horn, the kiddies found all of the eggs in about 10 seconds.

Speaking of horns, a loud one sounds every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. I think it’s to alert the citizens that it’s either Saturday morning or the Russians are coming.

Stevens Point of course is home to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). I believe it’s a four-year liberal arts college. That means they teach the arts and are quite liberal about it. The university is also known for its outstanding conservation programs. By the way, I went to UWSP for four years—1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. Majored in math.

The people in Stevens Point are very friendly. This year we had an ice storm, and the next day two people I never even met before were out there helping to shovel snow. Another time, my car was hopelessly stuck in the snow at the end of the driveway. A gentleman named George Ewen was driving by, saw the problem, got out of his car, and personally lifted up one end and got it unstuck. How cool was that? And another time, a perfect stranger knocked on my front door and returned my wallet that he found on the sidewalk. I didn’t even know it was missing, and it still had the $3 in it.

If you enjoy a bit of local history, Stevens Point has a beautiful train engine by the southside underpass. And when people walk into the front door of the courthouse, they might notice a cannon which is right across the street pointing at them.

It’s good to have that cannon around if that Saturday morning horn goes off and the Russians are really coming.

If flying kites trips your trigger, Mead Park is the place to be.

Stevens Point is known for its clean air. We don’t get that smog like they get in Los Angeles, and thank God we don’t have that foul smell like Rapids or Mosinee.

Point has the infamous “Square” complete with a bunch of taverns and a water fountain. Did you know that our square used to have 40 bars? They also sell lots of veggies on the square, and the downtown is vibrant.

Stevens Point is the City of Wonderful Water.

There are plenty of places to play bingo in town.

Stevens Point has terrific stores and restaurants. You can buy those delicious rotisserie chickens almost anywhere. Same with bacon. Also, the fish fries in Point are wonderful. No such thing as a bad one in this town.

Stevens Point is a place where people will bring bobbleheads right to my front door.

Point used to have planes that dropped off paper plates good for prizes on Krazy Days, and Polish weddings were always fun to crash.

A carnival comes to town about every 20 years.

We have the infamous Fox Theatre that hasn’t been open since Carter was president. Harry Houdini once performed there.

If you’re into fishing, Stevens Point ponds have lots of bass, bluegills, perch, walleye, musky, Northerns, and bullheads. You will never find a great white shark in the Wisconsin River. We also have no earthquakes and very few hurricanes.

I haven’t seen a stray cat in 10 years, but cardinals do show up in the spring.

Stevens Point is a great place to vote. My polling place is about 20 feet down the block.

This city also is outstanding for backyard pools, grilling, and simply walking around the block. The only problem is that our summers are so short. Last summer was on a Tuesday.

I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of things here, so feel free to comment. I’m gonna stay, ‘cuz when you’re outta Point, you’re outta town.

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