Changes on Main Street -- pretty much the only street -- in our little town. The building that housed the local paper when we moved here forty-some years ago and has sat shabby and vacant for maybe thirty years is being refurbished. It's the latest of many tasteful renovations that have changed the face and the feeling of our rural county seat.
In the mid-Seventies, Main Street had, in addition to this newspaper office and the county courthouse, two florists, two banks, a drugstore with a lunch counter, a dime store, a post office, a library, a funeral home, a small grocery, two hardware stores, a store selling furniture and appliances, a beauty parlor, a café, two dentists, some lawyers, and a small department store.
Over time, some of these businesses closed; others moved to the by-pass where parking and occasional flooding aren't a problem.
Today, the courthouse, the department store, one of the hardware stores, one of the florists, one of the dentists (a new guy-- the old one, our buddy Bob retired,) the post office, and the café (in its latest incarnation) are still there, joined by a popular coffee shop, two rather upscale eateries, a couple of galleries, a bike shop, a thrift shop, an antique shop, a tattoo parlor, and probably a lot more that I'm unaware of.
It's a different place now. I miss the quaintness of the little town where a man with a push broom swept the street in the early evening. But that town was dying slowly and I'm grateful for the new faces and the new energy that are resurrecting Marshall.