Went into 'the city' today. It's what we call Oberlin. 'Town' is Wellington and 'The Big City' is North Olmsted and regions. Cleveland is referred to by its proper name as it is in essence, another country.
After grabbing a bite to eat a decided to take a walk. Cooped in the in the house is making me a little stir crazy. I strolled past the copy store and the Feve (home of the Buffalo shishtawook & tater tots which rock my world) and was halfway past the hardware store when my brain caught up with my eyes. I stepped back and looked into the window of a little store called the Workshop Gallery. It's small by any definition of the word. Barely 15 feet wide. It's been there as long as I can recall coming into Oberlin. It sold an eclectic mix of prints, original art, sculpture, glassware and whatnot. Beautiful things. I can't recall buying more than a few items there over the years. Some of the things were pricy. What had cought my eye today was a large white handprinted sign in the window. It was jarringly out of place. The window usually held a mix of items that made you want to go into the dark and very cozy store. But this sign was plain.
"There will be a memorial service held at The Feve Saturday from 12-4 to say goodbye to Mark". There were flowers, heaps of them with cards bearing the names of people and businesses from up and down the streets. And a photo. I recognized him, but had not known his name.
And I was suddenly very sad. Something was lost here. Something and someone special. I've seen it before. I see it maybe more than you because I spend so much time on the road. It is the loss of those places that are unique, that do NOT strive to be the biggest and loudest and most efficient. Mom and pop stores, greasy spoons, odd shops run by eccentric people. Places that are not franchised or mass marketed. THESE are the places I seek out. I don't need to see another Walmart. There is no suprise in a McDonalds menu. All serile, all the same and becoming more the same every day.
I did not know this man, but our little corner of the world is less interresting with his passing.