You remember your small town back when there was a drugstore downtown, and lots of shops, and the theater was a happening place. You remember two hardware stores and independent gas stations. But it’s not like that anymore. You feel so sad when you think of what your town is now. Can you ever revive it, bring it back to the way it used to be?
No. Your town will never go back to the way it used to be. And that’s OK.
|Early fire department from my hometown,
Alva, OK. Things have changed,
and that’s okay.
Postcard scanned by
It wasn’t really like you remember.
Looking back through your memory, you’re seeing things as better than they were. That’s just how things work.
It can’t go back, any more than you can.
Face it, you’ve changed, too. You can’t go back to being the person you used to be back then. So, maybe you shouldn’t expect the town to, either.
Some changes are irrevocable.
Plant closures and company failures and disasters are irrevocable changes. No matter what you do, you can’t revoke the change. The town will never be the same.
It’s not just small towns; big cities can’t go back either.
Detroit is rebuilding, but it won’t be the same as it used to be.
|Today, Alva’s Fire Department is proud
of their “Century of Service.”
Be realistic about what your town is now.
Your has to start from where it is now. It can’t start from where it used to be. Pretend for a minute that you don’t know anything about the history. What are the current assets? What is the potential? What are the current positive trends?
The only way forward is change.
Imagine a new future, building from the existing assets, using the potential, and building on the positive trends.
Check our past articles on small town economic development for ideas. Start with Working Together, You Can Build It Yourself.
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