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Street Talk

Shop Main Street, Skip Black Friday

By Mickey Howley

Not is only Black Friday coming but Cyber Monday is also right around the corner. And so I write this column with some sense of urgency. Every time I open my e-mail there in my inbox are easily a dozen incoming messages from online shopping. Yes, I have bought things online; I beg for your forgiveness, I’m down on my knees as I write this. I know you are saying “sinner and hypocrite” right now.     
But let me defend myself. Half of it was ski apparel and gear. For a swampy flatlander, I just love going down big, slick mountains in sub-freezing temperatures. And I’ve paid the price for this masochistic lust, permanently installed are four inches of rust-free steel plate with six screws in my shoulder….by the way we’ve got great physical therapists in this town.
So the ski junk I don’t feel so bad about buying online, no one in the Valley carries that stuff. Or should. But I get these emails because I bought other stuff, like work clothes and  boots and even auto parts online. Despite the fact we have two very fine auto parts stores in town. Major sin. And was a major mistake cause half the parts were wrong and it was a real pain you know where to ship them back. Plus I missed the daily BS and good-natured verbal abusing one gets at the part store counter.
So for sure I’m not doing Black Friday. That’s just crazy. My life is sad and pathetic, but not that sad and pathetic. And now big box stores are opening on Thanksgiving afternoon. Nothing is sacred anymore, got to feel sorry for the folks who work at those places. No holiday for you. And the following Monday, don’t be an online fool.
Here’s a very random sampling of my gift ideas in the Valley. NAPA and Midtown Auto Parts – as I said two fine stores… plenty of tools, cleaning stuff, chemicals. I live for my cars. Sartain’s and Valley Lumber, again tools, gear, gadgets. Tools are never a bad idea. Magnolia Furniture for easy chairs, lamps, sidetables… picture feet up and refreshments on table.
Mechanics, Renasant or Regions Banks for giving somebody young a savings bond…give me cash.
Yalo, J Clayton’s, and Bozarts for art but also framing and even jewelry. I’m not wearing jewelry, but you know what I mean. The Caboose Boutique for jewelry, too…and clothes and yoga pants. Not wearing any of that either but do appreciate those who do. Velvet Glove has such a variety of things, I’m always amazed, and Doris has Ole Miss and MSU football themed things. And if you want to get real holiday deco gear, Jay Gee’s or J’s on Main are the places.
Trust me, if somebody would  throw me one of those Water Valley afghan blankets at Turnages, I’d wrap myself up in it. Don’t forget about consumables, all the eat and drink places have gift certificates…Main Attraction, BTC, Hometown Pizza, Crawdad Hole, D&D House of BBQ, El Charrito.     
Take someone on a tour at Yalobusha Brewery (it’s free). Give a gym membership from Cornerstone to work off the eat and drink. Or super radical would be a gift subscription to the North Mississippi Herald. That’s a deal for Betty and Coulter’s columns alone.
Shop the Valley, see you on Main Street.

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