In response to Timothy Patrick's letter regarding immigrants in Marshalltown:
The first time I came to Marshalltown was in 1988, for a job interview. It was a ghost town, and there's no way I would have moved here. I can't say that my memories are accurate, but I'd swear there were tumbleweeds blowing down Main Street.
The next time I visited was in 2007, shortly before I moved to the area. And a great part of why I changed my mind and made the move here was because the town was alive, vibrant and diverse - with the obvious addition of several immigrant cultures. The downtown was hopping, and I loved seeing the mix of people all over town.
I brought my business to Marshalltown because I believed it was a place with a wide base of cultural influences and interests and because I thought it would be a good place to live. And I was right about both of those things.
I love living here - and the ways in which immigrants have been welcomed here is the single biggest reason why. The ways in which Marshalltown has changed in response to immigration tells me that it is a place where people think about what they're doing and how to live well together, and that is important to me.
I live in the country because it's necessary for me, but I occasionally consider moving to town, as there would be advantages. If I did, I would certainly move into Marshalltown, not one of the other towns in the area, because it is the most interesting place around.