What ever happened to the local stores that lined the block around the courthouse in towns across America? The Ben Franklin Five and Dime, Brown’s Shoe Store, the local office supply & stationary store, a café or two, the local bank; the local theater, the hardware store; they all used to be thriving local business that if you went downtown you could visit them all.
They were the life of the town were store owner and customer knew each other by their first names. Employees were like family and treated each other that way. If an employee was in need, their employer knew and took care of them. In return the employee made sure that it was repaid. The employees and employers alike felt a sense of loyalty to each other. The center of town was the heart and each store was a vital organ pumping the lifeblood of the town. It was a sense of community where everyone looked out for everyone else.
Now, for the most part, they all sit vacant with “For Sale or Lease” signs plastered in the windows that used to display their wares. The heart of the town has only a faint beat left with the people going to the courthouse to renew their license plates or to appear in court. Many of the families that had invested heavily in their store have lost that investment and moved on.
Now, somewhere on the edge of that town or a nearby town sits a big box store owned by people who only have a sense of profit. Those owners sit in their corporate offices somewhere else and look at the money only. They could care less about the need of one employee or another in a town far removed from their office. There is no sense of family or community, only a sense of maximizing profit. There is no sense of belonging and loyalty between employees and employer.
What once was a thriving life is nothing but a skeleton of its former self.