Archive for October 15th, 2010

Farewell Boneyfiddle

Friday, October 15th, 2010
Boneyfiddle Garden Shop

Boneyfiddle Garden Shop

Sometimes I really wish I was rich.  I know, everyone wishes that, but today I have an actual good reason for wishing it.  One of my favorite stores is closing

The town I live in has dried up and almost ceased to exist over the last 30 years or so. When I was a child, the downtown area had several major department stores, several shoe stores, men’s and women’s specialty stores, banks, diners, jewelry stores…it was a vibrant area with plenty to do. During that time, the town’s original business district had given way to bars, junk shops and warehouse space. Few downtown shoppers found their way to that part of town. But as industry moved overseas and jobs were lost, the department stores closed one by one, and all of the other businesses followed along. Despite efforts to revive it, our downtown is on life support and is barely clinging to a few restaurants and some shops that come and go.

Surprisingly, in the old business district, located along the river just inside the floodwall, townspeople came together and began to shine up the historic buildings, opening cute little touristy shops and restaurants. Antiques became a focus, and other unique stores filled in around them. Murals were painted on the floodwall depicting the town’s history. Flowers and trees and benches made walking the area inviting. When I friend opened a sandwich shop, I ventured down there to look around. What I found was a thriving small business community, full of unique gifts and hidden gardens, wonderful food and interesting folks.

Much as I have enjoyed the area, I guess I haven’t spent enough time and money there to help those interesting folks. I did share what I’d found with others, taking friends there for dinner or to visit the little stores occasionally. But if you added up all the money I’ve spent there in the past, it might not seem that I liked it that well, as it’s probably not more than a few hundred dollars. Not enough, on my own or with the friends I brought, to keep my favorite shop open.

So the Boneyfiddle Garden Shop will close on Friday. No more unique flower baskets. No more locally crafted pottery. No more garden rugs, birdhouses, local paintings. No more flowers on a whim. No more hidden garden! There will be a hole in the row of shops where no flowers will burst out the door, no birdcage will grace a window, no life will overflow. I won’t know where to find a quick gift. I won’t know where to take an out of town guest to show off our town.

In just a few minutes, I’ll be on my way there to sift through the last of the stock and spend a few dollars. If I were rich, maybe I’d have spent more all along. And then maybe they’d still be open.