Street Talk

Open House Is Saturday On Main Street

By Mickey Howley

This coming Saturday, Nov. 14, Water Valley’s downtown retailers are having an “Open House”. There are a couple of ads in this paper promoting the details.

It is not that these businesses are not open on any given Saturday, they are, but they will be holding extended hours and promoting specials. Plus you might get a tasty cookie or two when you visit.  

This Open House event is a way to say take a look again at what these shops can offer and also a way of thanking the regular customers for their patronage throughout the year. Now the cynical among you might surmise that these businesses just want a piece of everyone’s Christmas money. And on a certain level that is true. They need your business now and the whole year as well. These businesses anchor our downtown and without them things would just drift apart.

In much of the Main Street literature concerning downtown businesses, the term “anchor” business comes up. An anchor business is one that has steady holding power in a downtown district. Water Valley is very fortunate to have several businesses that fall in that category, some better than 100 years old.  

As an old shrimp boat captain, I especially like that anchor analogy. Here’s what a good anchor will do for you: in everyday use, it is light and easy to set and retrieve and just holds you in place, but every once in awhile you’ll really put it to the test. And you never know when or what that test will be: a sudden storm, a jammed rudder, nets hung up.

That anchor better be ready to hold hard and fast to save your big happy hull and keep your nose pointed up. Here another thing often forgotten about anchors, you got to use them regularly. If they are left unused and unseen somewhere under the mess that is your front deck, when you go for it in a pinch you can bet money some component, a frozen fluke, a rusted chain rode, a frayed bitter end, will make the whole thing unusable. And you’ll be adrift.

So, regular use of your downtown businesses keeps all the working gear of our town in operation. All aspects need to function for the whole community to work well.  If you have not checked in with your downtown merchants lately, peeked under the deck so to say, come out this Saturday and make an inspection. The forecast is for clear skies, light wind and visibility unlimited.

Last Saturday at 405 N. Main, April and Bill Pullen officially opened their business named the Main Attraction. They have done many things that Main Street is promoting for downtown: renovate a facade, make a back entrance on Duncan Street attractive, actively used all ground floor square footage, and brought structural integrity back to a historic commercial building. Plus they have invested considerable money and energy in not only renovating a building, but adding a new business and several new jobs to Water Valley’s downtown.

Efforts like this are what Main Street is all about: renovating downtown, bringing new jobs, and building community. If you have not seen the building or visited the business, come look. I think you’ll be pleased by what you find.

 The Water Valley Main Street Association office at 207 N Main will be open all day Saturday for the Open House. Drop in if you would like to talk about buildings or businesses or boats or sign up for the crew.

The survey last week had the Main Attraction’s facade as the favorite (it does have a fresh paint job) with Sartain’s classic brick as number two. Keep looking up for those architectural details. Let me remind you there are a bunch of electronic sites related to Main Street; www.watervalleyartscouncil.com, www.movieonmain.com, there are Facebooks pages for the WVMSA and Movie On Main, become a friend. And see the soon to be updated www.watervalleymainstreet.com for this week’s survey on what is your favorite downtown anchor.

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