Where’s the butterfly museum?

What downtown Bremerton really needs is a butterfly museum. A museum about nothing but butterflies. It would add color and be a touch of spring on those harsh, wet winter days to come.

Wait. A butterfly museum wouldn’t be too interesting and there would have to be a lot of flowers, which would attract bees.

A butterfly museum is out.

And maybe it’s for the best, because, as I understand, that idea was battered around in the late 1980s and it died a quick, painless death.

As it should have.

In doing research about this wonderful city I am thrilled to call home, I have come across some interesting information. Many ideas and many people have roamed the streets, looking for a place to be accepted and welcomed.

But few — ideas, I mean — have survived. I offer more examples, all of which were actual, bona fide ideas that sprang forth from other people’s noggins.

Someone once suggested a dome be built over the downtown area to give shoppers that “mall” feel.

They were laughed out of town. I’m not sure if they really were, but I hope they were.

Someone else suggested downtown Bremerton be turned into a department store outlet strip mall.

That idea, too, was killed in committee.

Another idea bantered around to bring more tourism into the community was a Quincy Jones museum. Why Quincy Jones? Because he once graced the city of Bremerton as a resident. Then he moved to Seattle. But we still claim him.

Everyone has different ideas about what Bremerton should and could be, but no one has been willing to stick their neck out and take a chance.

Well, nobody except Greg Meakin, who spent several years sorting through red tape and architectural plans to pump life into the Bremerton Ice Arena. Greg is an anomaly. Instead of talking, he did. Very strange, especially here in Kitsap County. He had an epiphany, which turned into a dream, which turned into a big, beautiful ice rink.

I think there’s a lesson to be learned here.

The lesson is this: to initiate change, one must first formulate an idea. The next step in the process is to take a chance — gasp — and do something about the idea.

There’s no shortage of ideas, mind you. There’s a shortage of gumption.

Yes, the conference center, the government center and the condominiums are all tangible, working ideas.

With Mayor Cary Bozeman at the wheel, this city will soon have an identity. Why? Because he has the ideas and the gumption to do something about them.

A lot of people have gotten behind Bozeman because he has the ideas and, sometimes, it is easier to go along with other people’s ideas and let others stick their necks out to take a chance. That way, the supporters can relish in the accomplishments and if, heaven forbid, the idea may fail, the supporters can jump ship, then shake their heads in shame and say, “I told you so.”

Actually, maybe I should be grateful that some idea-formers in the past have lacked the fortitude to do something about their ideas. Otherwise, there may have been a lot of butterflies and bees roaming around downtown.

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