With the pending federal court case, and the constant media coverage of the issues surrounding Murray Center, I wanted to share my experience as an outsider looking in.
As a lifelong resident of Clinton County, I always knew of Murray Center, and I had a picture in my head of what it was like on the inside. However, in my 24 years, I have never been inside. I pictured a building similar to a hospital or a nursing home, a quiet place, with not much joy or excitement.
Just this past year, I had the pleasure of visiting Murray Center and meeting some of the residents. My employer's son, Darby, is a resident on Apple Cottage. One Sunday, she took me with her when she went to pick him up to take him to Dairy Queen.
Wow, was that picture in my head wrong. As soon as I walked in I was greeted by a resident who showed me his radio, another resident talked to me about his girlfriend who lives down the hall. I was shown their drawings and introduced to their friends. A few steps down the hall was a church service with live music! The whole place was full of outgoing residents, activities and caring staff. I was almost overwhelmed with all of the smiles! I didn't want to leave, but Darby was ready for his ice cream!
I think it is easy to assume Murray Center is just an "institution," with quiet halls and bored residents. That assumption could not be further from reality. If anything can be called a community, it's Murray Center.
Whitney H. Kampwerth