Lima, Ohio and The American Dream

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The majority of my life thus far has taken place within the corporation limits of Lima, Ohio. Like any other community, Lima has its strong points and faults. Lima has a fascinating history which is a source of local pride. It is home to an oil refinery which was for decades the largest in the world as well The Lima Army Tank Plant, which is the only manufacturer of the M1 Abrams tank. Throughout the Cold War, Lima was ranked fifth in the nation for most likely to be attacked by the Soviet Union, because of those two features. As a major center for oil, banking and manufacturing, Lima once attracted thousands of new residents a year at its peak. At one time, Lima boasted two performance halls, an Opera house, several community theaters and countless movie houses. Large Mansions popped up along Market Street and on the West Side of town from the 1880's to the late 1920's. A perfect example of a Rust Belt city, Lima has been in a state of gradual but constant decline for decades. Most of the Wealthier citizens moved out to suburbs such as Shawnee, Bath and Elida. As a result, some areas of town have languished while others have expanded. Overall, the changes in Lima since the 1970's are typical of many other Rust belt cities. For the most part, the signs of our former prominence have disappeared. However, Lima continues to enjoy great cultural activities year round. Major cultural venues include the Crouse Performance Hall, Encore Theatre, Memorial Hall and the Town Square. Built in 1977, The Crouse Performance Hall is home to the Lima Symphony Orchestra and hosts other concerts as well as hosting traveling Broadway shows. The City Club is located in a recently renovated building that adjoins Crouse, it hosts a jazz n... ... middle of paper ... ...n my first few years, my parents and I, followed by three younger brothers occupied a 2 bedroom apartment downtown, then a small farmhouse in Ada, my brothers are two young to remember either. My dad took over ownership of the business years ago, as the business grew larger, we grew more affluent and in 1997 we moved back to Lima and into a large 6 bedroom house in the Market Street Historic District. Since then, my parents have given frequently support the arts and the Lima Symphony Orchestra in particular. I now live in that same apartment above the business that we had occupied as a family years ago, while I attend college. Based on my experience, the American Dream is very much assessable in Lima, Ohio. It is not a place where there is easy money to be made, But for those who are willing to work hard, there is no reason why they shouldn't achieve success.

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