Crater of goodwill; Pothole brings community together

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, November 17, 2018

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“We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a chance we’re taking
We’re taking our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a brighter day
Just you and me.”

I dedicate “We Are the World,” written by Michael Jackson, to Ashley Wiley of Paradise.

With one simple, silly stunt, Wiley brought a community together and made everyone smile. We have bonded over a pothole.

Kristen Tribe

On Wednesday, Wiley filled a cavernous pothole in the parking lot outside Cici’s Pizza and Tractor Supply Co. with potting soil and placed a potted plant in it. She videoed herself at work and posted it to Facebook where it became an internet sensation.

Within hours, maybe even minutes, the little plant had been decorated with tinsel and people began to visit in droves, a quirky Wise County mecca. By Thursday, TV crews trekked from the Metroplex to see the popular pothole. By this time, its beauty was almost too much for the naked eye. A mylar balloon was attached, stuffed animals were left under its branches and a sign cheering the Decatur Eagles to victory was put at its base. A Minion, pizza box, Santa hat and Christmas gift also adorn the site.

People are going to the parking lot just to take their picture at the famous pothole. You can’t help but smile when you pass by. It even has its own Facebook page.

On Friday, the masses were alarmed because someone had removed everything from the pothole and placed it under a tree at Cici’s. But just as quickly as it disappeared, a Good Samaritan carried it all from underneath the tree back to the hole.

It’s a symbol of hope and goodwill. One simple idea turned something that we all hated – a deep, dangerous pothole – into something we love. Makes you think about the things you “hate.” How might those be turned into something positive?

I had a trying week, but as soon as I saw that potted plant, I loved it. It was like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree meets “Greater Tuna,” and at a time when folks seem to disagree more than get along, it did my heart good to see everyone join forces for something positive and fun. And heck, it might even push the property owner to fix the pothole. The thing has plagued drivers in some shape or size and varying degrees of depth for years.

I think T-shirts are in order: “I visited the Decatur Crater and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.” While those are in production, let’s remember to keep looking at the lighter side of life and share a good laugh when we can.

Kristen Tribe is assistant publisher of the Wise County Messenger. It was also brought to her attention that perhaps the pothole craze is an indication that Decatur could truly benefit from some type of “attraction.”

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