Hometown folk do not want their town to grow, except to see their kids, build or buy a home and remain in the HOME TOWN. I hear complaints all the time ‘Belmont is not what it used to be.’
Belmont WAS once ‘dry’ (NO ALCOHOL SOLD HERE) with 26 cotton (textile) mills. The town actually had a ‘Textile school’. It was a very good school in a modern building. I attended it for a school year as a ‘crip course’, but I learned a lot. This is Sherry’s hometown. It is Lisa’s hometown also (we have never met, we need to remedy that..) We have mutual friends
City planners (from northern towns) knew what would bring us back to life i.e. Closer houses, less yard, and “some alcohol.” It worked big time. Most days you are hard pressed to get a good parking place. I never stop downtown anymore but I do drive through and notice streets lined with cars where they were once were bare and down town dying. Boarded-up stores.
Our down town had a hardware, clothing stores, a couple drug stores, bank and some offices. NOW? It is mostly restaurants, café’s, coffee shops, ice cream parlors and bars. Oh yes, we have a small animal hospital.
This small town had 26 operating textile (cotton) mills in its heyday. Now there maybe 2 operating on a scaled down basis but we have several breweries. We are a bedroom for the city of Charlotte now. The Mill Villages have been remodeled or bulldozed down to make room for high dollar homes.
I am smiling now, remembering the Imperial Mill village where Sherry lived when I met her. I lost my driver’s license once, and I walked to see her. I used to ‘float home’ going down that hill and by the mill, then the railroad track and on home.
She doesn’t even like to drive thru that area of beautiful brick homes that are there now. Home town folk. ;-)
Belmont is no longer that sleepy small town.