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A Little Good News

by Brian Buethe, President | CEO,

December Newsletter Article

I let you in on a little secret.   Living in Grimes, Iowa either keeps you young or makes you feel old.  Last year, I had the distinct honor of passing the half-century mark, which I choose to view as a blessing.  My Father’s generation has reminded me for years that “Getting old beats the alternative.”  I agree with this sentiment.  However, aging in Grimes is a different experience than it is in most surrounding communities.

According to the 2020 Decennial Census, the median age in Grimes is 35.6 years of age.  That is young.  For context, look at a couple of our neighbors.  A few examples include Johnston (39.1), Clive (38.4), Urbandale (38.9) and Windsor Heights (43.5).  The median age of the USA is 38.1, which aligns closely with Iowa (38.3).   We attribute the youthfulness of Grimes to the ongoing influx of young families, especially young families with young children.

In 2010, our median age was 31.1.  Why the upswing?  Although young families continue to move to town, the children from over a decade ago have aged, like everyone else that has stayed in the community.  Also, more grandparents are coming to the community to be near their families, and we become older and wiser.

This entire demographic review is in defense of my age and to set the stage for what I am about to share.  What’s my secret?  I like Anne Murray.  For those of you who may be unaware, Anne Murray is a Canadian singer of pop, country, and adult contemporary music, plus she was a scratch golfer.  She was most popular in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  Now 78, I suspect she’s not a scratch golfer any longer.  My Aunt Linda was kind to take me to one of her concerts when I was young, and I’ve been a fan ever since…a fact that, for the most part, I’ve held in close confidence for fear of being judged by those around me.

One of her most popular songs remains very relevant today.  The name of the song is “A Little Good News”, which was released in 1983.  It was her seventh number one hit.  The lyrics essentially share a desire to wake up, turn on the news and learn that there was only good news being shared.  No war in the Middle East, nobody overdosing on drugs, no hostages, no assassinations, no one being shot, and everyone loving everyone else.  Wouldn’t that be beautiful?  Alas, 40 years later, the headlines are much the same as they were in 1983.   The last lyric of the song is “We sure could us a little good news today.”  I agree.

But while we live in a world where bad things happen, we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize that here in Grimes, where the median age is 35.6 years, by in large we have it pretty good.  Sometimes understanding that the problems we have are not new can relieve a bit of stress.  While we all deal with personal situations, which can often be difficult, as a community we are blessed.  As you live in this community, do business in this community, engage with this community, and share your opinions of this community, keep this in mind.   Then, look left and right, and see what you can do to have a positive impact on those around you.

On behalf of the 324+ members of Grimes Chamber & Economic Development, thank you for helping to make this community wonderful.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  #lovegrimes

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