Downtown has special charm in McCook

Friday, November 12, 2004

At the stoplight at Norris and B in McCook, look to the north. You see a street paved with bricks. You see colorful signs extending out from store fronts. You see the Fox theater marquee. And -- at the top of the hill -- you glimpse the large American flag at the start of the Norris Avenue islands.

In short, you see vintage America ... a busy vibrant downtown ... a street lined with some of the finest shops to be found anywhere in a town of McCook's population size.

For years, we didn't realize how lucky we were to have such a strong downtown business district. We took it for granted. But, then, more and more people from the outside started telling us how fortunate we were to have such special shopping opportunities and such dynamic, enterprising retail merchants.

The real thrust started during the short time McCook was associated with the Main Street program. This program -- which has done so much for the small towns of America -- was immediately impressed with McCook's downtown, and recognized McCook Main Street businesses repeatedly in statewide meetings and award competitions.

Then, others started noticing. Writers and photographers from the Omaha World-Herald and the Lincoln Star came to town, featuring the businesses of McCook's central business district in extensive stories with colorful photographic coverage. Further compliments flowed from Nebraska Life magazine, which featured McCook in its most recent edition.

It is justifiable praise. Visit other towns of similar size and you will see what we mean. Very, very few have the variety of stores that we do in downtown McCook.

And, now, we have a theme. It's called, "On the Bricks." We are not for sure who first uttered the words, but we think it was Mike Ford of Knowlen & Yates, who starts most of his segments on Open Line radio with the now familiar line, "It's a beautiful day on the bricks in downtown McCook."

Keep it up, Mike. We need to keep reminding people what a special downtown district we have. As the holiday season approaches, be sure to take time for a visit to the special retail shops of McCook, Nebraska, USA. They're gaining statewide notice. But, more important, they serve us daily right here at home.

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