Why I moved to Marceline, Missouri

I grew up in Southern California, and spent a lot of time at Disneyland as a kid. After spending many years in software development at places like Microsoft and Sony, I started my own technical consulting business, which gave me the flexibility to work at Disneyland for fun as an adult. During my time at the Park, I was an attractions host, then I worked in Guest Relations, where I became a Tour Guide, giving the 3.5 hour “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” history tour of Disneyland. I studied Walt Disney for many years and became an evangelist for Walt and his dreams. Ultimately, that’s what led me to his hometown of Marceline, Missouri.

Thanks to Kaye Malins, founder of the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, I finally visited Marceline and fell in love with Main Street USA right away. Growing up in Los Angeles, and living in Seattle and San Francisco, all I knew was ‘big city’ living. Marceline is the antithesis of my experience living in a community. Every visit really was magical. People were friendly; there was no ‘hustle and bustle’; and I could feel what I thought Walt felt decades later when he designed Disneyland – a feeling of closeness, comfort, and ‘home’. It didn’t take long for me to want to live in Marceline. But, as a technology business professional, the “high speed internet” in Marceline was closer to the dial-up speeds I’d used in 1995 – so Marceline was an impossibility if I wanted to do business with remote clients, or work for a software company in another state. For that reason, I was relegated to just visiting Marceline.

Why I moved to Marceline, Missouri | Dave Tavres

Then in mid-2021, I talked to a friend in Marceline who said the town had just gotten a fiber internet connection. I was surprised that such a rural town had gotten such a great piece of technology, and I immediately began researching and planning my move. I looked for places to live, made another visit, and confirmed that Marceline was finally a viable option as a place for a technology expert to live. In November 2021 I drove down Main Street USA in a moving truck, excited to experience small town living, looking forward to making new friends, and thinking about how I could become part of the community.

During my second week in Marceline I was invited to a Chamber of Commerce meeting, where Chris Ankeney volunteered me to help with Peanut Night. That was it. I was hooked and began attending any public meeting in town, meeting people, learning about the ‘Midwest ways’, and offering my skills and experience to the groups and projects I was interested in and passionate about. In my whole life, I never went to a City Council or Community Center meeting, but now those (and several others) are on my regular calendar, and I attend with enthusiasm, hoping I can help Marceline in some small way.

It’s been just over two years now, and I’m very happy to have made the move to Marceline. I’ve been part of car clubs, worked with nonprofit organizations, been active at church, and many social groups, but until I was able to move here, I never really knew what it meant to be part of a hometown community. When I’m driving in town, other drivers wave. When I’m walking down Main Street USA, I know so many people I see inside the stores and driving past – and they too wave and smile. For a city boy like me, living in Marceline really is magical, and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for true high-speed internet access.

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