I have been beating the streets in Vinton for so many years I have nearly lost track. What I haven’t lost track of though is the well-worn path I have traveled going door to door, store to store during that time. Nor have I forgotten the people I met along the way, so many who have come and gone, and many who became friends I am glad to still know today.

When I started out in advertising sales for the Vinton Livewire (way back when) – we didn’t have computers, we didn’t have internet or email, and thank God – we didn’t have Facebook. No, if I wanted to talk to someone – I went there to see them. I walked or drove there and opened the door. And we got to know each other face to face and over time my path between doors became my destiny. Today, most of the doors and faces have changed but I still remember the booming times in my earlier years when Vinton was really flourishing. There was little need to go anywhere else as Vinton businesses had pretty much everything we could ever need. Main Street was lined with stores with everything from nuts and bolts, shoes to lingerie. It still amazes me today that our small little community & surrounding area supported not just one – but two – (and sometimes even three or four!) – jewelry stores, pharmacies, dime stores, flower shops, grocery stores, furniture stores, auto dealerships, appliance, clothing & shoe stores – all lined up and down the same street. We had a theatre, a bakery and restaurants you dined in. When you said you were going downtown it was truly an outing and you were gone awhile. Life was good.

Well, life is still good, but sadly my well beaten path is much shorter now. Inevitably time changes everything – and times have changed!…(oh how I miss those shoe stores – and our Alco!)

I’m sorry I can’t bring back some of the good old days. It makes me sad to see empty store fronts in any small town. It makes me sadder still to see them never reopen as retail businesses with goods for sale that we are so desperately missing locally. My hat goes off to our current local retail base still keeping our downtown alive and well. Thank you for all you do, for working six, and sometimes seven days a week and your dedication to our community.

I like doing business locally with people who are glad to see me, know me by name and sincerely thank me for stopping by. That’s what small community businesses do and I am glad to have them here. I also like my well-worn path. So here is what I am asking, here is my pitch (I am a salesperson, after all)

  1. Businesses – Support Vinton Unlimited. Our mission is to be the tie that binds and gives us strength to share and grow as a community together. Your membership helps make that happen. We can’t do it without you.
  1. All of Us – Support Your Local Businesses. They can’t do it without you.

Without those two common denominators, we will all be….


Sorry when they are gone.

Gone. Gone. Gone.