Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hometown News

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.

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.

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.


Laura said...

I'm afraid the post I ended up writing is not quite as eloquent. But, it made me feel better.
I'm carrying my camera with me so I'll be ready when the building falls. It is going to be a sad mess.

Charlene said...

Jen, I'm so sorry to hear about the fire. You're right there's nothing better than living in a small town. I think that it's probably almost as hard to watch your town grow so much that it's not your town anymore. When we moved to Magnolia our population was less than 1,000. Can you believe that? Watching trees fall and roads built...they call it progress...I've called it sad. I'll be praying for the people of Happy. One thing I have learned with change...our spirit still remains the same and although my town is growing I'm still trying to raise my children with those great small town values that I was raised with. God bless you and the people of Happy.

Jen said...

Charlene, It is hard for me to imagine Magnolia when it was small. I cannot imagine watching the "progress" over the years,but Magnolia is a great place to live and raise our families. Your children are a testament to that. I pray that mine will be as well.

Jen said...

Laura-I enjoyed your post, and I agree completely. I have seen lots of comments about the fire on facebook.