Friday, August 23, 2019

: Growing Pains

This was a brand new car the year I first met a girl named Sherry Harris. Later to be my wife. This is a 1954 Buick Skylark I have only saw one of these.

Now today:
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, cafĂ©’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.

Nite Shipslog


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

We have several bedroom communities as folk have spread out from the big city of Cleveland, Ohio. so I can relate to what you are saying. Lots of new housing developments everywhere you go where there was once nothing but farmers fields. I'd say those farmers are now enjoying some nice retirement years, thanks to the sale of their land. It's always hard to accept change.

Chatty Crone said...

Well you could look at it like at least it didn't die and become a ghost town - that would be sadder. Change is hard though - I know that. sandie

Lisa said...

When I lived there until the 80's it was a ghost town and we all come to Gastonia to do anything. I love that it has grown but we need more shopping and family places to eat rather than pubs and coffee shops. However, Me and Nick would love to find a small house that's affordable in Belmont but the "growth" also led to expensive housing. We would love to walk to town.

From the other side

Lisa said...

Oop I meant until the 90's. I left in 1992.

betty said...

I like when towns revitalize the downtown area, even if it is just restaurants and other small stores. I hate to see the downtown area vacant or rundown. Amazing how it went from 26 mills down to 2 mills. That happens a lot. The town I lived in when we were in Pennsylvania had steel mills. None exist right now. Sad we didn't keep some businesses here in the United States.


Glenda said...

Agree with Betty on the revitalization of towns that provides an income stream for small retailers, would imagine that Belmont still retains the "small town" quaintness missing in the metro. Sounds like a place I'd like to visit. And, of course, it brought smiles when you spoke of "floating down the hill" in days gone by!!!

Dar said...

We used to be a paper mill town. Now it's barely running, in fact, about to close it's doors. That will leave 2 banks, one grocery store, 3 gas stations, 1 drugstore, a couple resale stores, 1 supper club, a cafe, McDonald's, a dentist office, bandaid hospital and clinic, not much for what used to be a booming town when I was a kid. It's so sad to see bare streets, everything is sliding downhill fast with the mill in bankruptcy, twice now. So many families have no choice but to leave. This kind of change I hate to seems to be happening in a lot of small towns. Thank God for church.
loven'hugs from up north where the sun still shines tho

Mevely317 said...

Nostalgia! For exactly these reasons, I've resisted going back 'home' to Los Alamos. Best I remember it was it once was.
Meanwhile, I'm starting a list of little communities Sean (of the South) writes about.

Rick Watson said...

My old home town is pretty much gone :(

Jean said...

People here keep complaining that Opp isn't the same after all the mills and factories close down, we have one factory still working, but it's home and I couldn't see myself living in a large city. I guess it has some rich folks here we have three banks and two credit unions. (smile).