By Mickey Howley
My grandmother said of luck that it “runs in threes.” And if you look at Water Valley’s luck with the national press this year, it has been a lucky year. First there were the three pages this spring in the New York Times about new energy on Main Street. Second was the recent article in Food&Wine magazine about how we’re a great small town for eats.
And now the third lucky piece was in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal. A feature piece about visiting Mississippi for just a quick get-away weekend. And the Wall Street Journal suggests visitors to this state spend their Saturday afternoon shopping and eating on Water Valley’s Main Street.
Just so you don’t think there is a magic lucky spell that has been cast over New York journalism, let me remind you that the New York Times sent two folks here. Food&Wine and the Wall Street Journal sent one person each. All seasoned professionals and all not easily wowed. So it is not us saying all this about us, it is them saying this about us. And it is all good.
Sometimes you make your own luck happen. The common story in all three articles is transformation. And the story line is Water Valley as a bypassed railroad town is back on track. Downtown buildings being fixed and businesses going in them. This weekend Jonathan’s opens on North Main. Next weekend Jay Gee’s is opening on South Main. One moving here as part of an expansion and the other as a new business and both in older buildings. But both part of a positive pattern on Main Street that has been building steam.
Last week the Water Valley Main Street Associa-tion celebrated this positive pattern at our annual General Meeting. It has been 5 years since the WVMSA started and we think there have been some very solid changes on Main Street. New jobs in old buildings. More traffic and more business. Vallians shopping here again and keeping their dollars in town. It has taken five years of steadfast support and hard work to be an overnight press sensation. Five years of steady support from businesses like the North Mississippi Herald and Turnage Drug Store. Faith in hard times from financial institutions like Mechanics and Renasant Banks. And unwavering belief and energy from the City of Water Valley and individual volunteers like Ramona Bernard. Those are just a few examples of the collective group bringing Water Valley back. That’s the folks that have made this recent and welcome press possible and this ongoing renewal happen.
The last Downtown Pep Rally for the season will be this Thursday at 5:30 in Railroad Park. Come out cheer the hard working group of senior players before their last regular season home game.
Saturday night in the Municipal Auditorium Terry Rockette’s theater group is performing the play “ Luke Warm.” The curtain opens at 7 p.m., so be there early.