I saw a marquee a couple of weeks ago in front of a business on Osage Beach Parkway west of the Grand Glaize Bridge. It said: Welcome to the Dead End.

I saw a marquee a couple of weeks ago in front of a business on Osage Beach Parkway west of the Grand Glaize Bridge. It said: Welcome to the Dead End.


It didn’t stay up long, thankfully. Kind of like rubbing salt in a wound.

The hue and cry today among many along the west end of the Parkway, and on the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen, is to accentuate the positive. That comes a bit late, possibly, after two years of chanting by business owners and others that the west end is dead. That moniker, by the way, is not something the media created. It was a rather clever tag created by business owners to demonstrate to the public and MoDOT officials that, hey, we got ourselves a situation here and we need help.

Only a couple of months ago at an Osage Beach Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, a west end business owner likened the lack of traffic and business to a sporting event when he said, “We’re in desperation mode right now. Some of us are falling. It’s two-minute warning time right now, and we have to get going.”

I’m the first to look for the good in the bad, although that’s not always possible. From my little corner of the world, reporters report the news, we don’t create it. Or at least shouldn’t.

It’s a dark enough place without the injection of a reporter’s bias or emotional slant.

Two of my favorite sayings come into play here: Perception is reality, and in adversity there is opportunity.

The first evolved a few years ago during spirited discussions about alleged abuse of power by lake-area law enforcement people. Many of us believed an overzealous law enforcement effort was suppressing economic security for bars and restaurants — and thus our lake community.

Regardless of the facts, the perception of a problem soon became reality as word spread far beyond our local borders that lake area cops hid behind every tree, bush and road sign to try and catch drunk drivers.

When adversity kicks us in the shins, the visionary thinkers among us find ways to succeed. The recession forced us to tighten our belts, to re-think how we do business, to find new ways to survive. Those who have survived created opportunity.

The Passport to the Parkway is an excellent example of forward thinking. Joni Walden and her committee have refused to give up. They created an excellent opportunity for businesses west of the Grand Glaize Bridge to promote not only themselves but also others facing tough times.

The Passport to the Parkway is a collective effort to shout to the world that, hey, we’re not giving up. Come see us because we care about our community; we want to survive because when we swim, we don’t sink. Joni and her group have been lauded by Osage Beach city officials and others hopeful of resurrecting the west end and proving that it really isn’t dead — just a bit under the weather.