Wednesday, November 18, 2015


     At first glance, our small town hasn’t changed much over the years. 


The big white houses still sit firmly on Main Street, Greg the barber still uses his shop window to send out birthday wishes to residents, and the morning coffee crowd still gathers at the Village Store to solve world – and town – issues.

          I’ve only been here twenty years now – a relative new-comer – but even I can see that things are beginning to look a bit different, at least on Main Street.

          The two small houses that sit in village center, and once used as real estate offices,  may only be around a bit longer. They’re too difficult to bring up to code, and once sold, will likely be torn down.

On a positive note, someone has purchased the old run-down house that sits next to Gazebo Park. It’s at least as old as its neighbor from the 1800s. Heroic measures are at play to restore it, and I can’t wait to see the final result.

          Nearby, the old Town Grange, unused for years now that we’re down to only one farm in town, has been transformed into a private home. Word is that the inside is like something out of Architectural Digest.
 Rice’s Fruit Farm was owned by Jesse Rice’s family for 100 years.

Four years ago, Jesse died at age 91 and the long-time farm stand – really a market – closed. It re-opened to great success under new ownership, and now is the hang-out for those of us looking for a cup of tea and a turnover in the afternoon. Then that crowd clears out for the arrival of the after-school high school kids, and the evening is full of families looking for home-made ice cream after their soccer games.

          Bennett’s turkey farm is long-gone, still missed each year as Thanksgiving approaches. On the plus side, those of us voting at the elementary school are no longer bowled over by the scent of turkey manure wafting over from the nearby corn field.

          And the drug store/gift shop has changed hands.
It’s now going to be a convenience market, which is fine. We all need milk at the last minute, and the academy kids down the block need somewhere to buy unsuitable snacks.

The big concern is that there’s talk it will offer Keno, a numbers lottery. As I understand it, people choose a number and then hang around at tables waiting for it to come up. That, plus the fact that this proprietor sells cigarettes and adult magazines at his other store has triggered a fair amount of discussion across the street at the Village Store.


  1. I hate to see old buildings destroyed . However, things do change. We can't help that one. The one village at home has completely disappeared. The other village has very little left since I left in 1957.

  2. I do mourn some of the changes which inevitably come. I liked it when down town was a community first, and businesses second...

  3. I don't like the convenience store coming to your town. We have them everywhere here and you're right, there will be Keno, followed by other unwanted things.
    As far as I'm concerned, convenience stores shouldn't be necessary. If people planned ahead, they shouldn't run out of things, although I understand how it could happen, but there's long life milks available now and they can be kept in a pantry, unrefrigerated until needed. And it doesn't hurt to hide away a pack of toilet paper for emergencies, ditto an extra can or packet of non perishables.

  4. I bet that Grange home interior is as neet as a one room schoolhouse renovation I saw in WI. Used a mezzanine for sleeping quarters.

  5. "We've got trouble! Right here in River City!"

    1. :0)
      I'll keep my eyes open for a man in a marching band uniform.

  6. oh small towns. the powers that be here are determined to keep this town from becoming prosperous as it once was. a group of families own most of the buildings and when they fall into disrepair nothing is fixed so their taxes won't go up. if you want to rent one you have to make the repairs and improvements at your own expense and labor. they have the city counsel in their pocket so nothing gets done. the chamber of commerce here bends over backwards putting roadblocks in the way of people who want to make this town prosperous. and the small town small mindedness of the people here is extreme. if you are a newcomer, forget it. one young woman who opened a little shop on the square (she has now left) saw a complete change in acceptance when people learned that she was from a different branch (different small town) of one of this town's families and another woman newcomer who is buying and restoring one of the buildings on the square to open a little cafe and gallery is told with regularity to her face that they don't want her here and one of the shop keepers on the square is conducting a smear campaign against her. so much for christian love.

    1. Good Lord. Thankfully, things here aren't that insular and small-minded.


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