Forbes Magazine issued it's list of America's Most Miserable cities today. Stockton is no longer at the top of the list. We were displaced by Cleveland, Ohio. Besides being the TV home for the Drew Carey show, and home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the NBA Cavaliers and NFL Browns, Cleveland can now lay claim to being atop a list it would likely rather not be.
I do not dispute the methodology used by Forbes for this annual study. I think it is important to examine taxes, crime rates and commute times. What I do not understand, though, is the adjective (or better put, label) miserable.
If miserable is to be in a state of misery and misery is great unhappiness, I think it is impossible for an entire city (or, in actuality, all of its residents) to be miserable. That is too wide a net to cast over a quarter-million people.
I do not discount our crime rate, unemployment or taxes. Those are all very serious matters that need our attention. Those characteristics, however, do not define who we are as a city. Stockton is full of loving and caring people that care deeply for their neighbors. Podcast Stockton was born from last year's Most Miserable list. Over the last year I have become more convinced that Stockton is full of positive people, people that wake up everyday wanting to do good. We are hard-working, chip-on-our-shoulder, charitable, family focused people that don't beat ourselves up for being on a national magazine's naughty list. Each week on Podcast Stockton, we strive to bring you the positive stories of our town and hope that you enjoy listening to them as much as enjoy doing them. Throughout 28 episodes, we realize more than ever that Stockton is not miserable.
Thank you Stockton.
The picture above is of my youngest daughter playing in the water at McLeod Park in downtown Stockton. It was taken on September 16, 2001. Even though the world was falling apart all around us, she seemed to be having a lot of fun that day. If you'd like to see the rest of the miserable time we had at the park that day, click here.
Enough misery. I think it's time to go the Haggin Museum for the 3rd Thursday event.