- Main Street USA
- By PHOEBE SEXTON
- The 61st Missouri Photo Workshop / Festus & Crystal City, Mo.
Every city in America has a main street that measures the heartbeat of the community. Though most small towns in this country are ailing, the pulse is strong in Festus, Missouri. Through the windows of the community, life and death and everything in between are still played out on the sidewalks of Main Street USA.
From anticipating your usual to bending the rules for a new customer, the small business owners of this small stretch of road invite you in, ask about your family, and curse the encroachment of WalMart, all while polishing your ring or helping you to your car. The long-standing traditions are flexible though, and newcomers are easily folded in, whether you're in kindergarden or from out of town.
Making you happy makes them happy, so you can resize the ring today or get a cup of coffee to go. You can get your first haircut and your last on Main Street and keep up with the gossip along the way. You can place a replica 10-point buck in the middle of a funeral arrangement for the avid hunter who just passed away. Or you can ask for a press-and-curl at one of the last salon's to offer it.
In addition to product, street displays offer glimpses of a daily life that weaves seamlessly into the past and the future. Genuine patriotism waves proudly over doorways and time persistently continues forward. On Main Street, the customer is family, and is sassed and served as such.
"Main Street USA" as seen from Biele Street Pub Wednesday afternoon in Festus, Missouri.
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