Labor Day weekend is a time of BBQs with family and friends, boating on the lake and a whole lot of asking yourself, “Where did the summer go?”. Halloween decorations seem to come out of nowhere and big haulers start to appear with a bounty of grapes from local harvests. Unfortunately, these days it also includes keeping an ear on any new Nixlereports, but this is all a part of living in Lake County.

No matter what you read on social media or hear at the checkout line in your neighborhood grocery store, we are truly blessed to live here. I met a gentleman this weekend visiting from out of the area and he was so impressed with the many things to do and how nice the people have been to him in Lake County, he couldn’t wait to return. His perception, or his reality if you will, is that our county is a place he’d love to settle in. When he returns to where he currentlylives, and friends and family ask about his trip, his perception will be passed along with a positive and glowing recommendation.

So, it strikes a nerve when I hear someone who lives in Lake County speak poorly about our community.

George Orwell once wrote, “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

We have all heard the jokes about Lake County from those that live outside the county. We roll our eyes and offer a dismissing nod to change the subject we have heard dozens of times before. But to hear them from people who live here and call this their home? Oh, come on, we’re better than that. Social media can be a hotbed of “language corrupting thought”. One person takes a verbal shot at the county and the race begins as posters climb on board to outdo the last post. Whatever happened to, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it”? What you say about your county matters.

The reality is Lake County is a pretty special place to live.Most of us live here for a number of reasons. The lake, the cost of living, clean air (Present conditions excepted) top the list of reasons. When we have a local tragedy, we rally together to get through it. Who wouldn’t want to live here? The loud minority perpetuates negativity and it will take thoseof us who love living hereto stand up and make it uncool to talk down about where we live.

So, the next time you hear someone speaking out of line about your community, take it personally. They’re talking down about where you live, your home and that is not cool.

Joe Casteel

2018 President, Lake County Chamber of Commerce
Owner, North Bay Merchant Services

Joe Casteel is a 20 year veteran of the Electronic Payment industry and moved his business to Lake County in 2006. A proud member of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and current President, Joe and his wife Jacie have called Lake County their home since 2001.