Don’t worry, be happy in Jim Thorpe

Horse-drawn carriage rides down Jim Thorpe’s historic Race Street are a highlight of many a romantic weekend getaway.

While the sub-head of syndicated columnist Allen Abel’s article in Saturday’s edition of the Ottawa Citizen read “Optimism scarce on the streets of Jim Thorpe,” this writer along with many who visit, live and work on these same streets would heartily disagree.

This is a town recently named one of the top five most beautiful towns in America, where folks come camping or on a day trip and fall in love with it the way my husband, Chris, and I did while camping up at Mauch Chunk Lake Park with the Single Volunteers of Bucks County.

That was more than a dozen years ago. Today, we are excited and optimistic about the growth of Jim Thorpe and the increased business we’ve seen since we started our Times House Bed and Breakfast in 2009.

Abel wrote that he drove to Jim Thorpe, “to plumb the Mood of America and found resignation, disenchantment, and a dispiriting dilemma: that the current president has not been up to the task of national recovery, and that his opponent offers no particular potential either.”

He went on to try to weave a story about the start of the 2012 Olympics, the Olympian for whom the town takes its name, the presidential race and equate it all with a once-struggling old coal town that has transformed itself with “recreational prosperity” and harbors what he called a “sucky mood.”

The story falls as flat as a long distance runner with his shoelaces tied together and a tired writer miles away from his required column inches.

Politics and political extremists these days may be “sucky” wherever you go in the world, but to brush a town excited and optimistic about what the future holds with a dismal broad stroke is just wrong.

Folks who really know Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania – the gateway to the Pocono Mountains – want to share our little slice of heaven with the world. That’s why I agreed to let the paper use photographs from this blog to run along with the article about Jim Thorpe.

I’m not worried or sorry I did.  I’m happy and hopeful some readers might see them, decide to visit Jim Thorpe for themselves and fall in love with it the way we did.

I feel lucky and blessed every time I drive around the Lehigh Gorge and the town reveals itself to me. There’s nothing “sucky” about it.

Here is a link to the article in full online at, as the Ottawa Citizen’s publication of the article appeared in print only. Let’s send them all letters to their editors and tell them what we really think.

Be sure to check out Jim Thorpe and the Best of the Road on the Travel Channel at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

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