An Outpouring of Angst Over the Loss of an Icon
By Ken DeLaat
Ok, for the 4 or 5 people in the county who didn’t read, comment, share, critique, and/or emoji (like, sad, wow ,mad, care etc.) regarding the article we ran on the departure of Family Fare (aka Not Bill’s)…
The store is closing.
We ran a headline with the question ‘One Too Many?’ referencing the oft discussed debate as to whether the area could support the four grocery stores on the west end of Fremont. But other than the timing, the addition of Aldi’s had little to do with the decision to end the 50 year run of the store. As many have opined in reference to our article for whatever reasons the doors were destined to be closed long before Aldi’s brought their bring-a-quarter brand to town.
We have appreciated the number of comments that can be found at the end of our story and hope folks will take time to read them.
Those and the many found on local social media make one thing clear.
Bill’s, as it once was, is missed.
There are many reasons of course. Many have been longtime customers who found the store to be user friendly in an uber-local way. Its size and layout promoted an inclusionary culture that reflected in the friendly relationships between staff and customers.
Bill’s wasn’t just a store, Bill’s was a neighbor.
And it isn’t just Bill's.
As Gary Deuling said in the comment section following our story “Just another part of hometown service gone forever.”
He mentioned other icons of Fremont’s past that have long since departed and echoed a chorus heard throughout many small towns across the country of how everything seems to be changing.
Change is tough. Most people resist it. Change can be scary and sad to be sure but it also can bring new opportunities and add to the quality of life for a community.
As our friend and occasional N3 contributor Lola Harmon-Ramsey commented on our fb post after also lamenting the loss of what Bill’s once was, “Our town is growing and we can celebrate that. The hospital and other amenities Fremont offers brings people from neighboring communities and will continue to do so. I know we will all be interested in seeing what this very busy and very important corner turns into!”
Few will celebrate the loss of the many amenities Bill’s brought to their cadre of committed consumers and to feel sadness over the expiration of their unique brand of customer service is certainly warranted.
But as the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus is quoted as saying, “Change is the only constant in life.”
Even in small towns.
“You can't stop the future
You can't rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
...is to press play.”
-Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why
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