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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

JJ: lamentations

I miss a lot of things about the OLD Kalispell, the one that has mostly disappeared over the last fifteen years. I miss the old B&B, where Smith's now stands, a place where you could go grocery shopping, buy ammunition, tools and video cards, eat at a nice restaurant with a great salad bar, buy clothes, and do laundry, all in the same building. It was like a mini-Walmart with Cislo's thrown in , but smaller and friendlier. (I remember when the lady that ran the laundromat was murdered. I think she was the first murder victim I ever knew.) I miss the old Norm's News when Bill Shiel owned it. It was a place for friends to gather and visit over coffee and flirt with the waitresses and not the Yuppie-Spot it is now. I miss Sykes. I am not sure why it died, but I hear rumors of greed and family feuds that I won't go into. Good food, good prices, good friends and lousy weak coffee. I miss the little laundromat by Finnegan's, and Gus, the owner. He was a great guy and a real character. I'll never forget listening to him stammer when he told me about the young Hippie chick who came in to do laundry wearing just a worn-out T-shirt. Unfortunately she left just before I got there, but not long enough for Gus to get his bearings back. I miss the Old Steel Bridge. I know it was old and inefficient, but it had history and color. I wish the county had left it in place as a foot/bicycle bridge and put the new one next to it. I miss the farmland that used to surround the town and that is now dotted with McMansions and condos and developments. I miss the dozens of roads that the various government organizations have closed up in the woods. Those distant places are off limits to me now. I miss the old Lawrence Park. The new one is nice, but there is NO PLACE where a person can sit in their car by the water. I used to love to pull up on the river bank on a rainy day, eat lunch and watch the Zen dance of water and debris float by. No more. I miss the old moral standards. I was in high school before people felt the need to lock their houses when they left for a few hours, and it was still safe to leave an unlocked and unattended car running to warm up. Sometimes I even miss me. I was a different person then. (Me)