Yesterday afternoon – Camera House and I visited a little local town for Christmas on Main Street.
It was cold and windy but this is the second such evening the town of Cullom, Illinois has hosted and as the light was fading the cars were arriving and the families were gathering.
The middle of America, down here in the poorer areas of the midwest, with a declining population, there is a great danger of losing the last of the small towns, with businesses and Post Offices and Bars closing one after the other. Many such towns around this area don’t even have a grocery store anymore. Many have even lost their churches – the saints loaded onto the backs of trucks and taken who knows where. Many towns are ghosts of their former selves. Their untended souls drying out, going grey. No, not grey, a bleached bony white.
Not this one though. This town and a few others in the area are fighting that trend.
To shop locally and even celebrate locally literally keeps a town alive. Literally. This is one of the most important things a country person can do. Go to the local store and the local library and the local bank, have lunch at the pub.
I heard a rumour last night that the local tavern in Cullom is for sale. If I could rustle up a few investors I would be thinking seriously about that as my next step. Farm to Table at its best. Good food, good beer, my own sausage on the pizza! And NZ steak and cheese pie as a special treat! Simple and Good.
When I lived here with John’s family, as an AFS student, when I was sixteen, all these buildings were alive with stores and businesses. Only one store is left opening every day – the grocery store. Imagine the awesome challenge of bringing a town back to life.
The light faded too fast as we were leaving town, to get busy with the chores but the cars were all pouring into the tiny Main Street. Every small town in America seems to have a Main Street. Christmas on Main Street.
Merry Christmas, Cullom. Happy Holidays. Take care.
Have a lovely day.
WEATHER: Getting a little warmer.