As Monroe faces the opening of Wal-Mart, and our town, the Valley, and its small business continue to close and disappear and our small town atmosphere fades (like all others towns) due to online buying, chain and corporate conglomerate everything, I’d just like to say goodbye to, and remember the people, small businesses, and personal human touches that were the soul of small town Monroe in the years I have been here since 1971. They all meant something to me and haven’t been erased from my memory or heart.
I remember, I appreciate, and I miss: The Monroe Golf Course and Sylvia’s homemade pies; The Candy Cane Drive Inn; Bert Main and Al Skarberg and Carl Chapman of Monroe Hardware; Bill Bump’s hardware store; Carla and Papa Mia’s restaurant, and her husband Dan’s Pizza and Pasta in Sultan; The Hub drive in and restaurant in Snohomish; Lucy and Coast to Coast Hardware; Bald Bob’s mattress store; Larry’s Market and Irving’s meats on Main Street; Doug Raymur and Mills Music; Petosa’s Restaurants and live music; Sally and the Video Factory; Patty’s Egg Nest; The Hitching Post restaurant; Gordon and Keith and Tri-Valley Pharmacy; Eddie’s Trackside Grill; RCA Jones; Curnutt’s TV; Ray and Kevin and Monroe Shoe and Boot Repair; Karlson Lumber; Dunbar Lumber; Bob’s Appliance; Camp Riley Drugs and the soda fountain; Livio and Jim and Tim at Parkplace Grocery; The Flatiron Gallery; Curley Johnston Ford; Holcomb’s Shoe Store; Tony and his Love Music store; the Drivstuen Dairy; Milady’s Frock Shop; the bicycle store; Zack’s bike repair; Buddy Beavers and his angus cattle; Gordon Keck; Bob Nelson; Willie Meske; Bob Laz; Dr. Strub; Dr. Dankers; Mayor Donetta Walser; SeaFirst Bank; Bix Drive Inn; The Silver Dollar Saloon; Earl Williams Realty; Ken and Debbie Robinson; and the list could go on.
And I am thankful for the people and businesses that are still managing to survive after all these years like Dick’s Tire Haus, Rodland’s Automotive, Courtesy Tire, Jeno’s Restaurant, Smiley’s Pro-Lube, my own Holland-America Nursery, Woods Creek Nursery, Storm Lake Growers, Dan Peltonen’s Chiropractic, The Monroe Bakery, Mateo and Ixtapa, and others.
I hope the new small businesses that have started up in Monroe, and the people who run them will do well and become part of our heritage also.
I commend Polly Keary for her work at the Monroe Monitor and wish her well and hope the paper finds a new editor that will keep it going strong and keeps some small town news in our lives. Our connections to each other are important and are the foundations and soul of our town.
Robert Van den Akker