Guest column/A sentimental journey back to Steubenville

On Oct. 12, I took a road trip back to Steubenville along with my sister, Beth (Bundy) Alberts, and both of our husbands, Ed Arida and Al Alberts. With trepidation we thought, “Can you still go back and recapture that hometown feeling?” After decades of living in Northern Ohio, we were pleasantly surprised with the memories evoked during our visit.

We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast, the Bayberry House, built and restored by Scott Dressel. This was our first glimmer of the improvements being done to the downtown. We discovered that many people were pouring their time and effort into the area and I would like to give credit to just a few of those involved.

Mark Nelson and his family have built up businesses that employ a lot of folks. Steubenville Mayor Jerry Barilla and Judith Bratten currently run Historic Fort Steuben where, incidentally, we had quite an insightful conversation with the mayor.

He is excited about the downtown renovations and optimistic that people will increasingly venture to this delightful area.

We had a wonderful tour of Big Red courtesy of Ted Gorman, the energetic and exceptionally positive principal. As (retired) educators ourselves, Gorman impressed us as a man having great vision for the school. His enthusiasm, pride and love for the school were evident in everything he shared with us. Students and faculty were friendly and welcoming as we toured the school. The tour increased our already immense pride in our alma mater.

We dined at both Naples and DiCarlo’s, enjoying every bite, and realized the food was even better than we remembered. Our nostalgic trip was heightened at Friday night’s Big Red game where community pride and spirit are as strong as ever.

We were especially impressed with the statue of Calvin Jones and the story behind this remarkable alumnus.

On Saturday, we ventured back to Harding Stadium for some “photo ops.” There we ran into Tom D’Anniballe who took us inside the press box (very impressive; worthy of its own story.) He also told the story of the plaque for our dear friend Margie Turrentine Radakovich. Tom’s lifelong commitment for Steubenville was evident with every word he spoke.

The final stop of our trip was our old neighborhood on Harvard Boulevard, and the house where we grew up. Sitting on the front steps, we tearfully reminisced about neighbors, siblings, parents and childhood memories in “The Ville.”

This was a wonderful little road trip; I encourage anyone who has moved away to come back for a visit. Whoever said “You can never go home again” obviously never experienced the magic of Steubenville.

“Sentimental Journey” was a favorite song of our parents, Dick and Ginny Bundy. Our October trip was “A Sentimental Journey” that our parents would have loved.