WHAT ‘MATT’ERS: Clarkston cheers

When I received the phone call Feb. 13 from Phil Custodio that I was hired by The Clarkston News, I was admittedly giddy.
After calling my wife at work to give her the good news, she shared in my giddiness. I had worked at home the past seven and a half years, uncertain what the next day would bring. This job would bring stability to our life.
Then it hit me. Clarkston? As a member of the marching band eons ago at Ferndale High, we had a yearly competition in Clarkston, and the city seemed so far away. I mean, Northern Oakland County was “up north” to some of us.
Now living north of Clarkston and heading south on M-15 for work each day, I’ve learned a lot about this town (village?) over the last four and a half months. Covering pretty much everything but focusing on education, Independence Township government and public safety, I can say that this area is booming.
It’s a quaint little town, but with over 7,000 students and a graduating class of almost 650 … wow!
Our office is downtown, and the streets are generally active with people patronizing the local businesses, just taking a walk, or venturing into the office to buy a paper or place an ad. The town is clean, and someone somewhere is always doing something. It’s a very active downtown with a friendly vibe and environment and atmosphere.
What I like most about Clarkston is that it’s far enough away from Detroit and Flint that it can have its own identity without being known as “Detroit-area” or “Flint-area.” Clarkston is Clarkston, and that’s not a bad thing.
And yes, I get that every town has its share of negative aspects and citizens that find what’s wrong rather than focusing on what is going well, but in my short time here, the positives far, far outweigh any negatives that may be out there.
I am learning to appreciate all Clarkston has to offer – great place to raise a family, great schools, growing economy, and the list goes on.
And one heck of a fantastic newspaper and staff, too. Just sayin.’

— Matt Mackinder

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