Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Pollyanna's Hope

It seems to me, and perhaps I am incorrect, that it has been a very wet June so far. Today, the sun shines brightly, but my gratefulness gives way to a mixed bag of anticipation marked by worry and a touch of trepidation.

In spite of the newly constructed sidewalks and the beauty of the day, I still worry about the future. The welcomed investment in the Downtown community is still shadowed by a county unemployment rate of 11.5% and a somewhat questionable economy, resulting in many disgruntled citizens searching and hypothesizing for an answer.

Business could be better-not just for Mitchell's, but for countless other small businesses in Downtown, the state and the country. As times goes on, it seems that just being able to somehow "surf" and survive this economic tidal wave has become the goal. How does one judge when the "wave" has subsided and we have landed safely on terra firma? What are the sign posts?

I am not in the business of economic prognostication. Perhaps it is just the "Pollyanna" in me, but I believe that Downtown Angola is poised on the cusp of a renaissance, but it will be up to the private sector to decide how it all turns out. Sidewalks are just the beginning. It will take hearts and minds to finish the task.

I have met many dedicated, unsung heroes in the downtown area-pushing and striving to make this a better place not just for them, but for our entire community. Some you may have heard of, most probably not. They are business owners, employees, volunteers, friends and neighbors. They dream, they plan and they do. Advancement just doesn't happen, it is coordinated, planned and executed by dedicated individuals who even through adversity, get back to the mission at hand and attempt to "ride the wave".

Our downtown is not just buildings of brick and mortar, but the hearts and souls and the backs of hard working small business owners and those who support them. There are faces and stories behind the new concrete and brick sidewalks. People who believe and dream of a better future and work to make it happen. My hope is that these dreams become reality.