An Eighth Of Our Historic Downtown Remaining

It was quite the bitter-cold day with the north wind managing to find every crack and crease to chill, but at least we didn’t get hit with the snowstorm that stayed south of us. I still can’t believe how much rain we received, and when looking at the water levels of the Winnebago River, I’d say there was a whole lot of run-off instead of soaking. Hopefully this weekend we’ll be back above freezing.

The bulk of my morning was consumed with showing homes to an out of town buyer who was only going to be here for the day, but at least I managed to show what was available in his price range, which wasn’t nearly what we’d planned, and only because the others had already gone under contract. I believe we did find something that’ll work, so we’ll see what happens next week. I personally believe it’ll be a good long-term fit for the buyer.

After the showings were over, I busied myself with setting up appointments to show five acreages beginning tomorrow morning, and hopefully the wind will not be as brisk as it was today. Fortunately I have all of them arranged in an order where I’ll not be doing any zig-zagging. If there’s any given sector of our market that’s spiked the most, I can freely say it’s been the acreages, and my take on the quick rise in their prices, is it being a by-product of the pandemic. Over all these years, I’ve never seen so many buyers wanting a country setting. I believe Covid triggered that primitive “fight or flight” area in the brains of many to where if they couldn’t fight, they’d be fleeing for safety, and in their minds, the isolation of an acreage fit their bills. It would be fun to hear the stories being told by those recent acreage buyers who’ve had to bring themselves up to speed on how to fully acclimate themselves to the cons of country living, and especially during our winter months.

No matter how many self-help books a person reads about moving outside a city’s limits, you’ll never fully understand until you’re living thru it a full calendar year. Some months ago, I purposely drove past an acreage that two city-slickers moved to a year earlier, and by the looks of its dooryard, I’d say they’ve turned themselves into something akin to “The Red Green Show”, “The Beverly Hillbillies” and that old sit-com “Green Acres”. I knew they’d be in trouble because they’d never even owned a home before jumping in head-first with that acreage. I’m sure after their first mechanical break-down, they were wishing they’d stayed renting, just so they could call their landlord in the middle of the night. Ouch!

When visiting with a life-long native today about how our City’s Downtown was so much more vibrant back before they torn those historic buildings down to make way for the now deceased Southbridge Mall. We both agreed that there’s at best, only an eighth of our Historic Downtown remaining, yet “the powers that be” think they’re on the right track by allowing, as well as enabling those ticky-tacky shoebox apartment complexes to be built. You’d think they’d be more focused on giving grants to those existing historic building owners, just so they’d not have to bear the full cost of bringing them back to their original glories. You can bet they won’t, and only because they didn’t think of it first. Yes, that’s the mentality of those who poo-poo the great ideas of others, and only because they didn’t think of it first. Oh how well I’ve come to fully understand their modi operadi, and especially whenever it involves a person or persons who’ve lived in North Iowa all their lives.

Speaking of natives, have you ever noticed how many people who’re holding higher positions in our local government offices, arrived here from far-off places, and certainly had no familial attachments to North Iowa, which goes all the way back to what I’ve said many-a-time, and that is, “A prophet is never a prophet in his own land.” Now just look at what the “prophet” David Rachie’s doing with his lame-brained ideas regarding that ghost hotel and the resurrecting of that rotting mall. I’m still of the belief that it needs to be scraped off the face of our Downtown because it’s been an eye-sore from the time it was built. Just remember my dear ones, as always in the end, willful waste, will bring woeful want. I really don’t even want to talk or think about how much of our taxpayers’ dollars have been thrown to the wind with his charade. Oh well, there’s nothing one person can do but continue watching his circus events.

I forgot to mention my having purchased directly from Ireland, the most beautiful and exceptionally warm marino wool button-down sweater which I’ve been wearing over my dress shirts instead of a blazer. It was a bit pricier than what you’d find online, but knowing it was made by real people from real Irish raised sheep, it was well worth it. I justified the purchase because I didn’t buy myself a Christmas gift, so that sweater became a belated one from yours truly. After it arrived, I made a point to call and thank the gentleman who’d given me the company’s contact information, because I’m loving it.

Before closing shop, I made a point to pay a visit to Jenn Pope who’s the owner of the business next door to me, and only to tell her I’d be gifting her something I’d whipped up last evening. I created it before, but last night, I made a distinct change in its recipe, and after tasting it, I’d say it’s even better, so I kiddingly said to Jenn, “You’re going to be my guinea pig with the taste test.” One thing I really admire about her, is how hard she works at building her two businesses which are “Roots” and “Boards and Bars”. Yes, we need more forward-thinking and energetic people like her to bring our Historic Downtown back to life. You can be sure, I’ll be in the stands rooting for her success.

I hope you all liked the dog photo I posted last night. What a cutie! That look was a classic, and I’m sure the owner caves to its needs every time he’s given that stare.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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