Small towns across America share so many similar issues that one could move pretty much anywhere and hear the same things from folks. Which is what makes taking a road trip on the "roads less traveled" such a joy - you stay three days somewhere and you're considered a "resident".
Tonight, I got sucked into small-town Greenfield. While just paying a friendly call on one of Pastor Chuck's parishoners this afternoon (that's what my baby brother's called by the locals) she invited us to participate in a meeting to - ta-da! you reading this Doug? - consider how to attract more visitors / customers / quality businesses to the town. The main commercial area of this delightful town is centered in a perfect square around the county courthouse. While it's not evident from the photos I've offered here, most of the buildings are vacant. Some have tenants in upstairs apartments, some are in fairly good condition, some need either major renovation or complete teardown.
Ideas abounded at tonight's meeting. No idea was categorically rejected and some were given real, serious consideration - like mine, in conjunction with two young women, to open a bookstore / bakery / candy shop. We have the location scouted and a embryo of a business plan already talked through. I'm actually about 1/4 serious about doing this. (My daughters are laughing up their sleeves, then standing with their hands on their hips going, "Oh, jeez, Mom, give us a break! Will you just get your a... home, already, and tend to the irons you already have in the fire, like your vegetable garden that you're making poor Rick water every night. Come ON!")
Hey, I just might continue giving this embryo consideration - oh, wait! I hate the winters back here. Oh, that's okay, I'll just find someone to run my bookstore part of the business in my absence. Yeah, that'd work, wouldn't it? Anybody care to offer their two cents on my idea here? We could take a community vote - democracy in action. Yeah, let's do that! J.P., you want to get the ball rolling with a response? Or, Marshall?
Okay, I'm a little punchy and it's my bed time, so that's enough for one night.
Cya later, al-i-gator!
PS: Here's hint for my next post: