Letter: Looking back to the future
After walking through Becker Market Thursday, I decided to take a memory walk downtown. I passed Habichts, Buttreys, Woolworths, Avalon, the theater, Frans Toggery, Puritan Cafe, Butters Riedels, Carlsons, Hedlund and Thrifty Drugstores, Erickson...
After walking through Becker Market Thursday, I decided to take a memory walk downtown.
I passed Habichts, Buttreys, Woolworths, Avalon, the theater, Frans Toggery, Puritan Cafe, Butters Riedels, Carlsons, Hedlund and Thrifty Drugstores, Ericksons, Gambles, Torgersons, Randy Johnsons and Coast to Coast. Remember?
Then I woke up. I wondered -- where am I? Is this Willmar? Am I in a foreign country?
Another memory stop was Rice Park. When I was young, there were summer activities there for the kids. We rode our bikes to the park. Did we think about chaining them?
We played ping-pong games and made friendship bracelets.
Did we curse? Trash the park? Steal? Destroy property? Were we rude? Disrespectful? Did our parents have to stay with us to keep us safe?
Graffiti? What was that? Maybe we did -- I remember those chalk hopscotch games we made on our sidewalk. Wouldn't it be nice to have our children experience that again?
We all walked to school meeting our friends along the way. Besides learning it was a time to plan musicals, pep fests, plays and parties.
Did we bully? Harass? Fight? Fear for our lives? Did our teachers fear us?
Kids from area towns were bused into Willmar. Now we have city kids bused to New London-Spicer. Why?
The design team is talking about brick and mortar projects, downtown pedestrian space, and recreational trails. We didn't have those back "when."
If people don't take pride in their own homes, will they respect public property? Are those the real answers for Willmar?
Another article in this paper mentioned that longtime residents resist changes. We aren't afraid of changes -- if they are good for the community. Show us something good. Sometimes to get a better future, you have to look in the past and learn from that.
Carolyn A. Moore