Now that we have started a new year, I want to copy every other blogger and have a look back to when we started and what we have evolved into.
I started this blog to point out and perhaps help correct the mobility and other accessibility deficits in businesses and events in our little town of Mountain View AR.
In learning about the small town we had just retired to, I found that except for Walmart, one other supermarket, fast food joints and the Ozark Folk Center (mostly) are the only places that are accessible.
No other business is. They may say they are, but sure as hell, there’s a step up, a door that won’t open, aisles that are too narrow, or no way to turn around once you get in. There is one that made a ramp in the back of the store right next to the dumpster. The ramp is the service entrance. I should give them points for trying, but I’m not.
And what’s more, the town is almost proud of their inaccessibility. “If it was good enough for grandpa, it’s good enough for us and if you don’t like it, leave”
For all the business owners know, I could be a dripping with money tourist who wants to buy every piece of inventory they have, but they would rather I not enter their store or better yet, get out their sight.
Granted, I am not dripping with money and never could pretend I was. Sartorial splendor was never my strong suit, so I do look as if I could be going to the second hand store looking for a hand-out. But they don’t know that.
I have richer than Croesus friends who look like ragpickers and have been turned away at the homeless shelter office and told to go wait in line for a bed when they went to donate $10,000.00. Ya never know.
Most of the business you expect to find in a viable small town are no longer here. The stores are mostly flea markets and second hand or consignment stores. One says it is upscale. I have not been in there, so I wouldn’t know. Hell, I wouldn’t know upscale in a real upscale store.
There’s a hardware store/lumber yard. I go in there and spend money. While I can’t enter easily, they do have a scooter I can use and I do use it.
There is one place that sells cell phones, one computer repair store, a couple of drug stores, an auto repair shop, two car dealerships, an optometrist, a dentist and that’s about it. Oh, there’s a hospital and a few doctors’ offices, none of which I have visited.
So even if I started this blog to point out the inaccessibility of Mountain View and assist them in meeting accessibility goals, I soon realized that aside from 3 or 4 businesses, Mountain View is not accessible. And what’s more, they have no interest in becoming accessible. And will let you know vociferously.
Their stated views are thus: “If the government tells me I have to do it, I will NOT do it!”
I used to try to spend money locally on what I need . I don’t do that anymore. I get what I need from Amazon. If Mountain View doesn’t want me to buy anything in town, I will be happy not to.