Next weekend our little town will again put on a local musical theater production, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." What a classic! I recall our school's teens putting on this production when I was a little girl in Hopewell, Virginia.
On a slightly more sour note, in the past year Oriental learned that WalMart wanted to install a store in our town. Many townspeople fought it, signed a petition, spoke against it at town meetings, wrote letters, and otherwise voiced their disgruntledness. All to no avail. This morning the local WalMart Express opened. I drove down just to check it out, purely from curiosity. Cars were parked all along the road!
A smiling Wally's employee served sheet cake to the crowds at 8:30 in the morning.
Many people will be happy the store is here. It was erected just outside town limits, so Oriental itself will see no tax revenue from the store, although we will provide them with services. But the tax base for our county schools will be richer. And the employees have already buttressed local businesses by living in Oriental hotels for the winter during construction and eating at local restaurants. In the end, it's not much different from having the Dollar General store across the street.
I'm not glad WalMart came here; Oriental is not a Wally's kind of town. But now that they're here, I'll probably shop there some. I'll still support Ruth's because her meat is better, and her veggies, when on sale, are cheaper than anything. And the checkers there know me; we chat and joke. WalMart excels at cheap and quick. But Oriental is a retirement, vacation town. People don't come here for cheap and quick. The county is poor and will shop there. The town itself is wealthy and leisurely. People move here or vacation here for the atmosphere of the slow boating life. We'll see how this latest addition pans out!