I have lived in Lima for 47 years and I have worked in the city every one of those years. After law school, our next door neighbor was a curious, beautiful, intelligent little girl named Elizabeth Hardesty. Her dad was a lawyer colleague of mine who served a tour of duty in Vietnam. Her mom, Ruth, was a good friend. Elizabeth worked summers at Schoonover Pool and was one of the first group of kids to attend the Whittier Magnet School when my wife taught there.
After she graduated from Lima Senior she went to Wittenberg for her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and geology. She then headed to Michigan State for her masters in geological sciences.
Soon she was off to practice her profession as an exploration geologist from Argentina and Bolivia to France and Germany and throughout Europe. Elizabeth’s travels took her many places. Her mom has never left Lincoln Avenue and Elizabeth’s room was always waiting.
Her work has taken her from Pittsburgh to Houston and stops in between with Shell and other companies, including London, England. While in Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Alexandria and Azerbaejan, she always “stayed” close to home.
We complain about the brain drain and our kids leaving our community. We should embrace them whenever they make an effort to remain residents of Lima.
Elizabeth went to Vietnam, Thailand and China with Habitat for Humanity, but was still never far from home. She has been a dues paying member of Market Street Presbyterian Church her entire life as well as an ordained Deacon.
Elizabeth, is now running for mayor of her hometown. Welcome home, Elizabeth, even though you were never really gone.