Holy Schmoley! Flames leaping up from the north side of the downtown commercial district. Customers clutching purchases being hustled past the cash registers by some of G-Ville’s finest who’d just received word that “Town’s on fire!” Proprietors hoping against hope to save their goods and their livelihoods…in vain all too often. Neighboring fire fighters rendering “mutual assistance” in as many ways as they could and being showered with food, drink and thanks for being there. Traffic stopped in every direction, with law-enforcement forces at every level helping unsnarl the situation. T.V. cameras and newspaper reporters everywhere…Saturday, Sunday, Monday…they may still be out there! The Portage County Emergency Management unit on call and monitoring the situation. Local firefighters hosing down the historic Mott Building, headquarters of the James A. Garfield Historical Society, across High Street from the burning remains of the first department store in Portage County. Hoses running across the streets in every direction until the “All clear,” on Monday. Pumpers, aerial extension ladder trucks, tankers, everything but your kitchen fire extinguisher was out there. Rubber-neckers from at least three counties showing up about every day since the first alarm.
What did you do on YOUR spring break?
That was just for starters. Now comes the hard part…well…maybe not harder than watching your time and treasure, dreams and connections going up in flames…but hard to start from scratch and build a bigger and better reality on Main St.
It’s started already.
And in the meantime…remember that the OTHER side of Main St. is still open for business. The commercial establishments there are part of the whole picture and are going to be needing support as well. Parking is at a premium; that’s always a downer. The Shaker Tree, Millers’ Lawn & Garden, the Clock Man, The Barber of G-Ville, T&B Tools, Chic and Shabby, One Real Peach, even the foot doctor, the hearing aid man and the lawyers were all “draws”, reasons to come to Garrettsville. Remember the rest of the stores and enterprises are still seeking our custom, as it were. They have all the more need to see us all, early and often. Their businesses need to stay strong to be a part of the resurgence downtown. They will back measures to rebuild the other side of the street but they have to stay strong themselves.
Step up folks! This is something that YOU can do and do FOR your community.