My grandmother and my mother remember Happy when downtown was lined with businesses, but those days have passed. We have talked many times of how we would have loved to buy the hotel, renovate it, and open it back up. My sister and cousins went and looked at it last year to see how much work would be involved, but the amount of repairs that would have been needed was huge.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
On Sunday, my mom and sister called to let me know that the old Happy Hotel was on fire. The hotel has been abandoned for years and has fallen into disrepair. In this first picture taken at Christmas, you can see a small amount of the hotel building on the right-hand side. You can go here to see pictures of the fire and its aftermath.
I just read an article here with the latest news of the fire, and I made the mistake of reading people's comments about the article. I was amazed at some of the things that people said about it. Their lack of understanding was not suprising, as people do not really understand small town life unless they experience it firsthand.
Growing up in a small town of less than 1,000 people is an experience that I wish Cody and I could give our kids. The community spirit, especially in times of trials, is amazing. A friend who also grew up in Happy wrote this article, which captures the essence of the town and its people. My sister, who lives in Happy, wrote about it here.
Please keep the town, its leadership, and the involved families in your prayers.