Much has been written about “town-gown” relations in college towns where an institution of higher learning is beloved as the dominant force in the local economy.
At the same time it also is disliked as a nuisance because of traffic congestion, noise, discarded beer cans and an occasional bad check.
The phenomenon is called a “love-hate relationship” and it also can occur in communities where a factory or healthcare facility or other large employer is alternately cheered and jeered.
And Morehead is no exception.
More than 1,500 new students will be arriving at Morehead State University this Friday on “move-in” day.
Some estimate that each new MSU student will bring an average of four family members with them.
We East Kentuckians like to make it a family affair when someone goes off to college or joins the military or heads out to find a job.
A steady parade of cars, vans, pickup trucks and other assorted vehicles will stream into our community throughout most of the day.
Their eventual destination will be the big MSU commuter parking lot on the US 60 bypass.
From there, the newcomers and relatives will ride shuttle buses to various stops on campus or some will do it on foot.
After nearly 125 years of practice, the MSU folks have made moving in a well-organized, efficient exercise that will impress most of our visitors.
Newcomers will see big smiles on the faces of dozens of staff members and campus volunteers who help make it all work.
By the end of the day, students will be settling into their new Kentucky home after some tearful farewells to the folks from home.
Then they will be unpacking all of the essential goods they had to have for college, much of which they bought here or will replace here.
And those visitors leaving Morehead in all directions will be driving away with gasoline, food, beverages, souvenirs and lots of other stuff you can buy in a college town.
In our opinion, most local residents are aware of the economic advantages of being the location of both MSU and the Rowan Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College, which started classes this week.
Magically, as it happens each year, those students will fill the air with happy, hopeful voices, jingling cash registers and humming credit card machines.
That, indeed, will be the sweet music that makes these hills come alive and renews our pride in being the hometown of two colleges.