My heart leaps up with just the thought of getting to go there on a buying trip. If I lived there a hundred years, I would never see or experience it all. It truly is a city in the sky. Instead of things stretching out for blocks, it goes stories into the air!
I love the sounds, the sights....the way it smells. Really! It smells like car exhaust, food vendors, and sometimes, yes, a little eau de garbage on the side. It's a unique scent you never forget and you don't really hate, because it means excitement and fun.
On the other hand.....you don't want to smell it every day. You don't want to deal with the clogged traffic, the congestion on the sidewalks, the noise.
I live in a small town of 5,000 called East Palestine. It's in Ohio.
Wikipedia says of East Palestine, Ohio:
The town was founded in 1828 and incorporated as a city in 1875. Nearby clay pits supported a pottery industry; the W. S. George Pottery Company was formed in 1909 from the East Palestine Pottery Company and operated in the town until the 1950s. Formerly, East Palestine was called Mechanicsburg, but was changed to "East Palestine" as part of a religious nomenclature in that area such as New Galilee, Pennsylvania, Enon Valley, Pennsylvania, etc. Mechanicsburg is today a name given a village in Champaign County, Ohio, near the opposite border of the state from East Palestine.
Have you ever heard of W.S. George Pottery? if you collect vintage dishware, you know it well. It was made here, as well as Kemple Art Glass. At the turn of the 20th century, the Goodyear Rubber Company was located here in East Palestine. There were many little industries, factories and enterprises that supported many a young family in East Palestine, over the decades.
This is our park, the little jewel of East Palestine:
I have so often enjoyed the idyllic water fountain in the midst of the lake in the park, and feeding the ducks that live on its edges.
This is the historic log cabin that still resides on Bacon Avenue. Each year volunteers gather there to make apple butter.
And we have a GREAT library, too!
It's just a little town, like many a small town....
Little shops and enterprises cluster along the main street, Market Street.....insurance agencies, a photography studio, and advertising business, a Dollar Store, a florist.....a Chinese restaurant and a bakery.....a bank, the 1820 candle shop, a consignment store, a barber.... another bank, some legal offices, and a large hardware store. That's of course, just to name a few.
And.... it's OUR small town.
There are many quaint historical buildings in East Palestine. Over the years, some have fallen into disrepair. Mr. and Mrs. Don Elzer moved to town awhile back, saw the charm in here in this place. To be sure, it was charm that some of us had forgotten.
They began to undertake restoring some of the buildings, which encouraged new commerce. They are working to make sure the world outside of East Palestine, Ohio, knows how charming this little town used to be....still is....and can be.
This huge edifice exists in the heart of town. It needed a lot of work. The Elzers are working diligently on it, a long with a few other buildings. It will take time and heart. Some wonder if they will be able to finish the undertaking.
There is a saying: The bad news is, TIME FLIES. (Time has flown since they began to ply their dream of bringing the charm back to EPO. It DOES take time to bring back an old building, as well as a lot of heart.)
The good news, however, is that time may fly....but YOU are the pilot. The Elzers pilot their dream, and they are doing a great job. It's a BIG building!
Meantime, quite a few NEW shops opened in good old EPO. One is Black Dog Antiques:
And we have a great new Chamber of Commerce Building!
I was glad to bring my business from my home down to the darling little building in the back of the Sparkle Grocery Store:
Here I am at work in the front part of the shop, which is a combination gift shop, workshop and class center:
The word is getting out about East Palestine. I have a bunch of newspaper clippings now on my corkboard, and yesterday.....we were on television!
Here's a link to the video spot from the WKBN (Youngstown) broadcast:
Do you live in a small town? What is the mindset like? You know.... it's easy to be critical and impatient; we live in a critical and impatient world. It's easy to be complacent, easy to give up on a dream, easy to give up on people.
When I came to this place last summer, I worried that I would not be able to let my light shine here. I am not used to working with the public on a personal level. I have indeed worked with them daily on the internet for many years, when my business was at home.
That is, however, quite different than dealing with folks who walk into your very own store. I wondered what they would expect of me, and how I would show them patience and respect while still getting my own work done.
My friend, Shelley, gave me this beautiful framed picture, which hangs on the wall right by the front door. I look at it daily as a reminder of my personal goals toward the people of our community:
I would like to be nurturing, like the young shepherdess, patient and caring. See how she considers the little lamb in her arms, but also, the ewe at her side?
Who can be perfect? We all have bad days! Yet I think this is a good example and a good reminder for a shopkeep as well as a website owner. I want to treat you this way when you visit me online at https://www.bsueboutiques.com I also want to give you all the attention I possibly can, when you visit us in the sweet little shop at 42 1/2 Garfield Street in East Palestine, Ohio.
Shop owners also need to be patient and caring with each other. Many have been very generous with me here, already. I hope to do the same for them.
If you live in a small town, do the same. That's the charm of it! And your *privilege*.
Yep! It's great to live in a small town!