Thank You, Jacksonville

Okay. It’s late. And I have a deadline to meet. I’m supposed to have an article on Marcy’s desk (well, in her email inbox) by noon tomorrow, so I should probably be drinking coffee, but maybe I’ll have just one more beer. It’s been a long day. It’s been a long week. Besides, this one should write itself.

I’ve just come from Barney’s Pub, where my old pals Jeff Newman and Stan Robinson played everything from Cheap Trick to REM in an effort to raise funds for the bookstore. They put out a tip jar and played their hearts out to an enthusiastic crowd, who filled the bar and filled the jar, which the dynamic musical duo handed to Jenn and me at the end of the gig. We were reluctant to accept the cash, since they were the ones who earned it. But it has been that kind of a day. Friends and loyal customers (as well as people I’ve never seen before) have streamed in since the bookstore was robbed.

Yes, in case you haven’t heard, Our Town Books took a bit of a hit. But the outpouring of goodwill in the aftermath has more than made-up for our losses. Thanks to our downtown neighbors, local organizations, and community-minded customers, any disillusion Jenn and I felt in the wake of this episode, has been dispelled.

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Alright, now I am drinking coffee at the Soap Co. Coffee House next door to the bookstore. I didn’t finish my article last night, and, alas, I’ve missed my deadline. But, don’t fret. The store is in good hands. Anna Pevey and her kid sis Norah are minding the shop, freeing me up to finish this piece.

But I might not ever finish, if all the great folks of this fine town have anything to say about it. They keep stopping at my table to express their regret for my misfortune. In fact, one good soul came over and introduced himself. He said he didn’t really need a book right now, so he gave me a twenty, a pat on the back, and was off.

If all these wonderful people don’t stop hugging me, and generally offering their gratitude, I might not ever get around to reciprocating. In other words, I’ve never been more proud to call Jacksonville my home.   

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