How odd it was this Christmas not to see the parking lot at Fiesta Square full of cars, bringing folks to Hastings to buy books, CDs, DVDs and various other sundries for those on their shopping lists . . . and even a couple of items for themselves, while they were at it.
Oh, I suppose folks might have visited Fiesta Square this holiday season to visit the bargain stores and grabbed a pizza, but it ain’t quite the same thing, is it?
In the all-too-recent past Fiesta Square has lost not only Hastings, the Postal Center, a neat little place that specialized in hot dogs and a couple of other small stores. And now they are losing Simmons First Bank, which has been on the property since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Okay, not quite that long, but due to two banks coming together in financial union, the bank at Fiesta will be closing its doors.
It is sort of the right size and shape for a fast food joint, should one decide to move in, but since one already exists just feet away from the bank, I don’t really see that happening.
I like the folks at this bank, as it is one of the two banks where I have accounts; I hope everyone gets to stay employed in one of the other locations.
It doesn’t take much, or take very long, for a once thriving shopping center to hit the skids, and this seems to be the direction that Fiesta Square is taking. The parking lot in general sucks - yes, that’s a technical term, of sorts - and before they closed down, some of the folks at Hastings complained vociferously to me about how much rent the store was paying every month.
I just hope that we get to keep Harp’s grocery store - yes, I live just around the corner - but at various times in recent years some employees have expressed views that other stores may just be more highly valued than the one in Fiesta Square.
No, I don’t talk to management - they just give you the party line. I talk to cashiers, folks who stock shelves and those who serve coffee. You know, the ones who aren’t supposed to talk to the general public about stuff.
Catch a Walmart cashier at just the right moment, and the treasures of the world will be yours, if you are only willing to listen.
So folks will soon have just one less reason to visit Fiesta Square. At least when a drive-in movie theater was there, the parking lot was only empty in the daytime.
And speaking of movies . . . the fact that the old movie theater still manages to eke out an existence surely must be an economic miracle, all things considered.
Sparing a thought for those who can’t escape the cold
As I was collecting the morning paper today, and the air hit me like the breath from the leering ghost of Ayn Rand, I reflected upon those men, women and children who lack what most of have . . . a home. Warm shelter. Those who have used up their allotted number of days allowed in a particular homeless shelter, and must find other arrangements - if they can - until they are allowed back in.
Those who live in the woods near Fayetteville’s Walker Park, or other places, out of sight, but not out of the elements. The shuddering I was experiencing as I hurriedly sought the warmth of my front door wasn’t only from the cold.
Quote of the Day
Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street. - Mary Ellen Lease, Kansas populist, political activist, women’s suffrage advocate (from a speech in 1890)