In a sad sign of the times, the wonderful little store down the street from us is going out of business.
The North Lake Country Store is about 1/2 mile from my house – it’s a place where you get snacks, fishing/hunting licenses, beer, gasoline, propane, a sandwich for the drive to work or the “2 in 1” oil you need for a leafblower… a friendly, family owned store. It’s the kind of place where, when I walked in, they’d say “Hey Tony! We got more of those Starbucks energy drink things in for ya!”, and they’d ask how business was at the theatre. The kind of place where, if you ran over there late at night to grab some milk so the kids could have cereal in the morning, but you forgot your wallet, they’d say “Oh, just take it – just stop in and pay us later in the week.” Those kind of places aren’t around much anymore, folks.
Well, they’re joining the many folks who are now wondering what to do to pay their bills. I stopped in tonight to fill my gas tank, and chatted with one of the soon to be ex-clerks. We talked for a minute or two, he said he’s not sure yet what he’s going to do: “Not sure yet…onward and upward, though. Onward and upward!”. Then I paid and was about to go, he stuck his hand out and said “Thanks, though – it’s been a privilege.” I shook his hand, wished him luck, and walked to the car, slowly.
Most, if not all, of the theatres in the state are feeling the economic crunch.
Ours is no exception.
I’ve had family members and friends laid off from their jobs.
It’s difficult to not worry, to not despair… but that wouldn’t really solve anything.
Instead, we can just work to keep the faith. Work to move forward.
It won’t be easy. But we can do it.
We just have to choose.
Choose to be positive.
Choose to make a difference in the world – whether it’s in finance, education, country stores, or theatre.
Some of our ventures will succeed, some will not.
But we must continue choosing “forward” as the direction.
As the man said…
Onward and upward.