On the Other hand
By Kay Wilson-Bolton
December 20, 2003
In what now seems like an unusual occurrence, five Santa Paula women, known to each other, were shopping today at the same time in a Santa Paula Main Street store.
One commented that it seems as though Santa Paula has hung on long enough to turn the economic corner.
There was unanimous consent, and the women began to share about the abundance of good news that exists in the community. There was the sound of children in the snow outside, shoppers were moving from restaurant to store, parking slots were full and people were carrying packages.
While there is a general helpless dismay and sadness about the hospital, there is a clear excitement about many things that include the gentle and considerate influence of our City Manager, Wally Bobkiewicz, the bold leadership of our city council, and the proposed investment from a variety of investors from Malibu, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and various parts of California, Idaho, and Oregon.
There was talk about the new retail center on Tenth Street, which includes a grocery store, to the potential for a new city hall, the new owners of Main Street storefronts, the signs of economic investment by Mr. Bender near Peck Road, and the development of the railroad corridor. The Glen Tavern is “in escrow” and the Mobil Station east of town is about to be.
The thought of new residents in Fagan Canyon, representing new spending power to Santa Paula merchants, is still an intriguing one. While traffic looms as an evil and difficult necessity, there is talk of a bridge over Hwy. 150 to Santa Paula Creek, connecting at Hallock Drive. We are not used to an abundance of strangers, but we do embrace them if they are neighbors.
The women continued to share a general excitement about the local New Year’s Eve celebration that sponsors hope will bring enthusiasm back to Main Street merchants and attract tourists with those $20 bills.
All in all, there is confidence in our town again, which can translate into love pride. Those of us who remember the “good old days” can see them again in the fringes of this year 2003.
If you’re not sure about this, I encourage you to spend some time on Main Street and talk to the merchants who feel that you can make a living owning your own business. Talk to the “Big Eight” who have created an advertising co-op to promote and support each other’s business.
It is well known that all ships rise with the tide. We are learning again that “together, we are better.”
God is blessing Santa Paula and its neighborhoods. If you have ever wondered how God views cities, take a moment to read Zechariah 8 in the Bible, and substitute the words Judea and Jerusalem with “Santa Paula”.
This chapter deals with prosperity and safety, the poster qualities of healthy communities.
God’s vision for our seniors and our children is much bigger and far better than our own.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is a member of the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Advisory Committee. She also serves with five other members of the SPIRIT of Santa Paula®.