Jim Buchy Bench Dedication

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Gaylen Blosser Photo

The Darke County Center for the Arts and the Darke County Park District dedicated the Buchy Bench on the Darke County Art Trail to Jim Buchy on October 6.

The Buchy Bench has a statue of Jim Buchy sitting along with a QR code to scan for a message recorded by Jim Buchy.

“The Buchy Bench is an art installation and sculpture meant to inspire hope while standing in quiet reflection of remembering the past, recognizing the goodness and beauty around us, and striving to work together towards a brighter future,” the DCCA said.

Many distinguished guests attended the dedication, praising Jim Buchy, telling stories, and showing their support.

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted spoke to the media before the ceremony started. They shared their excitement for the event and the honor their friend was receiving.

“Jim Buchy is a great friend,” DeWine said. “Jim Buchy is everybody’s friend. Jim embodies values, the values of western Ohio. He is someone you can turn to when you need something done. He is a man of great principle; whether you are a Republican or Democrat, people like Jim Buchy. He always did the best he could for the state. As Governor, I wanted to be here, but I also wanted to be here as his friend.”

“Jim Buchy is very deserving of this recognition,” Husted said. “He has been a tireless advocate for Darke County and West Central Ohio. He has been a champion of small business, a champion of agriculture, a champion of families, and the interests of the people of this community. I think it’s really important to recognize people who are selfless and who advocate for the values of your community. It’s important for the next generation to see what those who have come before them have done as a model for what they should do for the future.”

Gaylen Blosser Photo

Governor Mike DeWine spoke first.

“This is phenomenal,” DeWine said. “If you look at Jim Buchy’s career, he so exemplifies Western Ohio and the values of Western Ohio. Jim Buchy has been, to me, a very, very great friend. If you talk to people in the general assembly who served and met Jim in any period of time, there is no one as popular with the other members, Democrat or Republican, than Jim Buchy. Congratulations, this is truly a tribute to you. This is a Buhcy day. We are so proud of you, we love you, and everyone here is to honor you.”

Following Governor DeWine was Lt. Governor Jon Husted.

“It is a treat to be here,” Husted said. “I remember one of the first times I met Jim. I was a new legislator, and Jim treated me with the respect I did not yet deserve. He was always such a gentleman. That’s the word I think of when I think of Jim Buchy. He offered great advice and counsel. His legacy around the state house is strong from a public policy point of view, it’s strong from the lives he’s touched among the people he has shaped to be better legislators and better people, and it has also shaped the culture in a better way of helping people understand what a true gentleman is.”

Auditor of State Keith Faber spoke next.

“Jim was the state representative even before I ever thought about being in politics,” Faber said. “He was the go-to guy if you needed anything done. People in the community came to me when Jim was facing term limits and said Keith, you ought to think about running for state representative. I said well, I’m not even sure how to do that. They said the first person you gotta talk to is Jim Buchy. Jim asked me a lot of hard questions, but the one piece of advice that he gave me that I try to give to other people who are thinking of running for office was the person who works the hardest usually wins. Are you going to be that person?”

Donna Collins, Director of the Ohio Arts Council, spoke after Faber.

“Representative Buchy, I’m not sure you remember this because you have seen so many thousands of people, but you gave me some advice once,” Collins said. “You said to me, ‘Always tell it like it is, tell the truth, and you can speak from your heart.’ I think I had said to you, ‘I’m a little nervous about making these legislative visits to talk about the arts and arts education, and you said, ‘No fear, young lady, you go tell it how it is.’ That’s helped bring who I am as a person in my work today. So thank you for your leadership and care.”

Darke County Commissioner Larry Holmes and Greenville City Mayor Steve Willman made proclamation Presentations.

“You make a great community,” Willman said. “One of the greatest things that I can think to talk about. This is the best place to work; the best place to live there is in the county. We appreciate that. I don’t think I need to read the proclamation; we know about Jim and know what he has done. He’s a great family guy, and we wish him the best and thank him very much for help.”

Gaylen Blosser Photo

Following the speakers was the unveiling of the Buchy Bench. A statue of Jim Buchy sits at the end of the bench with his arm along the back. This was the first time many had seen the bench, including Buchy.

Buchy said a few words after the unveiling of the Buchy Bench.

“You work hard, you become successful, and you give back so that we can make it better,” Buchy said. “Faith in the family, faith in God, and freedom. That’s what we are in West Central Ohio, in Darke County. That’s why I was so privileged to work hard enough to get ahead. This is the pinnacle of my entire career. Thank you.”

It was a beautiful event to honor an incredibly hard-working man who has done much for his community. Jim Buchy’s legacy will live on through this beautiful art installation.