Thursday, February 15, 2007
McClatchys — good neighbors
The South Reporter is losing a neighbor.
C.B. and Marie McClatchy are closing their business, which features hardware, lawn mowers, appliances, bicycles, paint and much, much more.
They’ve been with us on South Center Street in downtown Holly Springs for 27 years – since 1980.
It’s sad. I’m not sure what I will do without McClatchy True Value Hardware across the street. Visiting with the good folks at McClatchy’s is almost a daily routine.
I told Marie Monday, “I’m coming over every day until you close - to cry on your shoulder.”
C.B. and Marie were two of the first people I met when I came to Holly Springs five and a half years ago. They welcomed the new newspaperman in town with open arms and kind smiles and made me feel right at home on South Center Street.
I believe they were the first folks to ask Pam and I on an after-work outing. We attended an Ole Miss-Alabama basketball at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford and had a great time.
Of course, they’re diehard Rebels and I’m diehard Crimson Tide, but truth is, I don’t even remember who won that night.
It’s the good fellowship I recall most.
Because we’re business neighbors downtown, we’ve shared ups and we’ve shared downs.
I’ve gone across the street when I just needed to get away on a stressful day and talk. If I’m missing in action, the newspaper staff usually knows where to find me.
I’ve walked over when I needed to borrow things - like a ladder or a wrench.
I’ve walked over when my children are selling things for a school fund-raiser, and C.B. always comes our way with tickets for church fund-raisers.
I’ve walked over and asked C.B. if someone could go to my house and pick up my lawn mower for a tune-up or repairs He’s quickly obliged and returned it when finished, too.
Once I accidentally backed over Erin’s tricycle in my driveway. It was the Dora bike - her all-time favorite and one she wasn’t ready to give up.
She was crying. I was almost in tears, too.
I rushed it to McClatchy’s and asked if it could be repaired. The fix-all folks there did some bending and some taping and miraculously made it so Erin could ride it and enjoy it again.
I wish you could have seen her face when I returned home and she hopped on it and drove back across the driveway. That rapid repair was worth much more than the small amount I paid McClatchy’s
By the way, Erin is still enjoying the Dora tricycle. I’m not sure I will ever graduate her up to her small bicycle with training wheels.
Businesses like McClatchy True Value Hardware are becoming a rarity these days in our changing business world. That personal, down-home service is getting harder and harder to find.
The development in the southern portion of our city, adjacent to Highway 78 (future Interstate 22) is welcome and needed.
But I can tell you this - a city is only as strong as its downtown. It’s the heart and soul of any town.
We’d best all do our part to support the downtown area.
And as we put forth efforts to grow Holly Springs, we’d best not forget downtown development. It should be high, if not highest, on our priority list.
Here’s hoping we gain a new neighbor soon across the street on South Center. And no offense to whoever that might be, but it won’t be the same as having the McClatchys nearby.
The South Reporter appreciates their friendship and patronage over the 27 years, and we’re hoping C.B. and Marie will continue stopping by for regular visits.
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