Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Slow Death of the Ma and Pa Shops

My very first job was in a place called Clyde’s Grocery Store. It was a small grocery store located on the Ohio River in Maysville, KY. I have such fond memories of that place. It was family owned and the atmosphere was so down-to-earth.

Once Wal-Mart came to Maysville however, Clyde’s was unable to compete. It tried, oh boy did it try. But ultimately it succumbed to the same slow death that all the small stores are succumbing to nationwide and worldwide.

There’s just something so unexplainably wonderful about small-town, family owned stores isn’t there? Whether it’s a small grocery store, a clothing store, a book store, a café, or a restaurant, they just feel like home. They have personality. What’s more awesome than having coffee with a friend at a small-town café? What stirs the imagination like spending hours reading in a small-town book store? They are each unique unto themselves, whereas the large chain stores and restaurants are impersonal and are basically just clones of each other.

The realist in me knows that there is no reversing this trend. The small stores simply cannot compete with the prices of the larger chains. Wal-Mart can make a penny profit on each item and still make billions because their volume is so large. Whereas the smaller stores, with smaller volume, have to have to make a larger profit on each item just to barely break even. This is why the large chains can offer such low prices.

I am hoping that there will always be a home for the smaller stores though. I hope that there will be towns that will remain free from the larger chains. I hope upon hope.

Do you have any small family-owned stores or restaurants that you have fond memories of? What are your thoughts on the death of the small stores?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going on a Vacation!

My dear wonderful blog readers and friends! I will be going on vacation beginning tomorrow and will not be blogging during that time. 

I will return in two weeks and I look forward to catching up with you all then!

What was your most memorable vacation ever?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Go Big Blue!!

"I am more than just a serious basketball fan. Because I was born in Kentucky I learned early on that basketball is a way of life" Hunter S. Thompson

It is hard to describe to a non-Kentuckian just what basketball means to this state. In many ways, basketball is a way of life in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Office "sick days" are used a lot at tournament time, birthday parties are planned around the games, and weddings are planned so as not to conflict with tip-off time :-) 

I know it sounds crazy, but anyone who lives here will tell you that these things are true. 

Tonight, our beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats play in the national championship game. This year's tournament has been the craziest NCAA tournament that I have ever followed, and I am hoping that tonight our team will be hoisting the championship trophy. 


Update: My beloved wildcats lost 60-54, but they had a helluva season and an amazing run. I'm very proud of them. 
Do sports play an important role in your state, province, or country?