Hot Air: Strong

Woman Of The (Next) Year

Fingers crossed, here’s Bloomington’s next mayor:

Talk Of The Town

Debra Morrow joined me in the studio Monday to record this week’s edition of Big Talk. She, of course, is the executive director of Middle Way House. She walked through the front door of the place for the first time about 14 years ago — as a client. A county sheriff’s deputy had handed her a contact card for MWH because neighbors had called the cops on her behalf.

At the time, the MWH exec director was Toby Strout, a civic institution around these parts and one of the toughest, most focused people you’d ever meet. And at that time, Debra Morrow wouldn’t have been described in such terms.

That’s probably because no one was able to peek underneath the layers of armor that Morrow had wrapped herself in. No one could see her true nature; she’d hidden herself for protection. Now, after a decade and a half of availing herself of all the services Middle Way House has (and had) to offer, the real Debra Morrow has emerged. In her own way, she’s just as tough and focused as Strout was. And now she’s doing the job Strout did.

Morrow was remarkably forthcoming about what drove her to seek assistance at MWH. Her story is alarmingly similar to those of too many other women, those who’ve been crushed, been bullied, been slugged and slashed and spit upon. By men who professed, bizarrely, to love them.

It’s both a shame and a blessing that a place like Middle Way House exists at all.

Tune in Thursday, 5:30pm, immediately following the Daily Local News on WFHB, 91.3 FM. I’ll post the podcast link here Friday AM.


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