Chester Chatter: The joy in our small business town

By Ruthie Douglas
©2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Recently we set aside a time to honor small businesses. I have always known that our town’s small businesses and shops were important to us.

We have few big box stores nearby. You can drive out of town and even out of state to purchase an item cheaper at a big box store but spend more money on gas and the inconvenience.

In the 1950s we bought everything we needed here in town. It was good to know the store owners and the clerks. Often, if they didn’t have what you needed, they would order it for you.  And you always had the backup of the Sears & Roebuck catalog.

Small businesses in our town have not so greatly changed. You are still recognized by the owners who will try to meet your needs, whether it is our grocery store, Smitty’s, or the Chester Hardware or any number of restaurants and retail shops. And the money you spend locally goes into the pockets of friends and neighbors.

Down the street at the local diners, local news from our local newspaper The Chester Telegraph is discussed. People enjoy a cup of coffee and visiting with each other. There it is. This is small business in a small business town. It’s a great way of life.

Scene and heard

My heart aches in learning of the death of Kathy Spence, who died in a tragic car accident recently. Some time ago, Kathy had been part of the team at the former Raspberries and Thyme restaurant on the Green that included me in the kitchen and my daughter Jeanie as a waitress. We all worked so well together but still had time for a good laugh. I can still hear her laughter to this day and see the dimples in her smiling face.

Buddy and Linda Gibson of Wyoming have been visiting friends and family here for the week. Linda grew up in this area.

Bob Record, my neighbor, has been spending time in Springfield Hospital recuperating from an illness.

Wow, does our town village Green look perfectly beautiful with all those beautiful lights. A big thank you to the folks who have made this all possible, especially Chris Meyer who leads up the effort.

The kids’ Christmas party at the American Legion on Saturday was a huge success. Every child received a gift and lunch was served as well. Pizza was the star of the menu. Can you remember your favorite gift from your childhood?

I am very sad to hear that Reggie Cyr has died. He was No. 13 out of 27 children.  He was a member of the Tater Hill Country Club, and when he entered the door, you knew you were in for a fun time.

 

 

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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