Last October, shortly after the Standin’ on the Corner Festival, I started writing an article about Ron Adamson, the sculptor behind our beloved Easy statue. As I started to write I realized I first needed to tell the story of how the park came to be. And then the scope grew to include the original La Posada Foundation—which then drove me further back in the newspaper archives to the Route 66 Steering Committee formed in 1990. One thing was clear in all of my research:
Winslow citizens know how to fight for their town.
We are in unprecedented times right now. Businesses all over town have been closed, including the La Posada and Turquoise Room. Tourists are still stopping to take their photo on the corner, but now—when tourist season should be ramping up and making up for lost winter revenues—shop doors are locked and restaurants are take-out only. Small businesses will be severely impacted by this, and after all the work a group of citizens did two decades ago, it’s hard to see the momentum diminish.
But I have no doubt Winslow residents will fight for their town.
We did it after the bypass, we will do it again.
The fight shows in the support from locals for our downtown businesses and business owners for their staff, like Relic Road’s recent fundraiser for their employees. And Sipp Shoppe’s Golden Ticket. Or the cards dropped through mail slots lending moral support. The neighbors checking on neighbors. Cruise nights so kids can see their pals through the windows of the passing cars. At our Mercantile, we’ve greatly appreciated the growing support for our glass-bottled milk service. This community is once again bonding together and finding ways to cope with the current situation.
My pal Kimmie G and I were chatting the other day about the lessons we hope are learned through this and the number one thing is:
When you live in a world of abundance, you stop appreciating the little things like… toilet paper. It will always be there, right? We’ve learned that’s not the case. We are not a self-sufficient society. We are wasteful—not only as individuals but as a country. Maybe this is a reset for us all to use resources wisely and break our dependence on imported goods. Every citizen can support American manufacturing by buying thoughtfully. We can shop locally and support our small business. We can consider quality and not just quantity when making our purchases. Let’s learn to grow our own food, to get back in our kitchens, to spread kindness and help our fellow citizens in any way we can. Let’s appreciate every interaction and simple moment. Let’s take a break and breathe every now and again.
Maybe the lesson in all of this is to stop simply existing and truly live.
So what can you do to help keep our town thriving?
- Practice Social Distancing to help prevent the spread
- Check in on your neighbors, especially those who live alone
- Use the take-out services at restaurants
- Go for a walk and pick up litter
- Check with your favorite merchants to find out what you can still buy.
Let’s do a little roll-call of local business. If you own a business in town, comment on what goods/services you have available and I’ll add it to this post. I’ll start things off with our business.
- Motor Palace Mercantile has an online store. Click this link to check it out. You can pick up at the curb. Plus, we have a Thursday delivery of Danzeisen Dairy. You can preorder every Monday. Here’s a link to more information.
- Winslow restaurants doing curb delivery of food and drink:
- Brown Mug
- Casa Blanca
- Captain Tony’s
- E & O
- Las Maria’s
- RelicRoad Brewing Company
- Rootbeer Stand
- Mi Pueblo
- The Entree
- The Falcon
Let’s hear it! Who else is offering goods or services? It can be home-based or brick and mortar or construction or whatever!
On a really windy day last week, I walked out of the Mercantile around 2 pm and stopped in my tracks. There wasn’t a soul in sight. No cars on the street. No music blaring from the corner. Just an eerie silence punctuated by the wind howling through the trees. Our usually thriving downtown felt like a ghost town. It made me think about the Route 66 bypass and what would have happened had Winslow not stepped up. Researching the articles made me appreciate what a small group had accomplished, but this disturbing visual of our empty town truly drove the message home.
I woke up this morning thinking about all of this and thought I’d throw it out there to remind everyone what an incredible community we have in Winslow, one I’d never experienced before moving here. Consider this post as a rambling preamble for the articles to come, the ones I referenced at the beginning of this piece, the ones about:
First installment will be published this Thursday. If you don’t want to miss it and aren’t already subscribed, you can do so now.
Thanks for listening, my friends. Make it a good, thoughtful, and appreciative day.