A note from Tamara O’Kelly, owner of the Hartman Inn, about a great group effort with special thanks to Lydia at Plumline Vintage and Morgan at Scarborough Lumber. Click “Read more” to view the letter . . . . .
About two months ago, I started attending the smaller BC Merchants meetings (vs the BCBA). This smaller group of people seemed to focus on smaller issues at a real grass roots level, whereas the BCBA seemed to focus more on larger events like the Art and Wine. They met once a month and I heard there were some fresh faces, so I decided to start attending to see if I could help make a difference.
Being a preservationist and having a landscape architecture firm, one of the biggest issues for me about Boulder Creek has been town beautification and breathing some life back into our downtown. There are programs through the National Trust for revitalizing historic towns like ours (called “Main Street Programs”) and I have been slowly organizing a group of people who would be interested in such a thing.
I’ve long dreamed of seeing our town brought back to its original glory; sidewalks widened, people having places to sit outside and socialize, pocket parks, and people shopping at all of our local merchant’s stores (which would be booming)…oh, I could go on and on with the ideas that I have…but let’s move forward. Sounds great doesn’t it? But, the first step to take is a baby step.
Step one: Relight the town. Boulder Creek used to have the tops of the buildings lit up with white lights year round. When you drove into town at night, it felt really welcoming. Well over the years, the lights failed, burnt out and basically stopped working. Money had always been the issue, coordination….oh it went on and on. I hear the whole process had been talked about for almost ten years.
Well, one night I came up with an idea. If I could get one of our local hardware stores to get the lights at COST, send out an email to all the merchants downtown with the total for their building so they could have their checks ready, I would personally deliver all the lights via my little red wagon to each one of them.
Of the people who were unable to hang their lights, I would bring my extension ladders down and hang them for them. How fun would that be? I brought the idea to the Merchants and got the thumbs up. I was on a MISSION to get this town lit by Black Friday!!!! And for those who know me, I was going to make this happen even if it killed me (ha ha ha)! I immediately called Morgan from Scarborough Hardware and Lumber and told him exactly the type of lights that we needed to hunt down…right down to the proper colour spectrum. We were after LED lights for low energy use, but they had to have a warmer colour spectrum. Most LEDs have a bluish light, which looks cold and unwelcoming and can actually repel people.
So, Morgan went hunting for these special lights and found them! They were in Chicago at an ACE warehouse, so it would be 7-10 days before they would arrive. I came back to the Merchants meeting with the news and told them I’d send out an email when they arrived. We only had a few weeks! Well, we waited…and waited…and waited. Behind the scenes, Morgan had been calling and calling and calling the wherehouse because the lights hadn’t arrived yet. It seems that the order got lost somehow! So, with only a couple of days to go before black friday, Morgan calls me and says that he has given up on the LEDs arriving in time. HOWEVER, he managed to get some energy efficient incandescent lights instead! Yippee! Morgan saves the day!
That brings us to last night. I have come down with the flu…in a BAD WAY. I can hardly stand up, let alone get on a ladder. There is no way I can even pick up or deliver the lights. So, I call Lydia of Plumline Vintage and ask for help. I explain that I have the flu and I can’t even think my way out of a paper bag and need help. Not only does she offer help, she takes the torch and runs with it! I gave her Morgan’s number and filled her in. She called Morgan, sent out and email to the merchants with the cost and will deliver the lights via wheel barrel today!
Not only that, but she is even going to hang the lights for the merchants that need help! So, this is what small towns are all about. This is why I love this place! A small dream to light up a town comes to fruition through community effort.
Thanks to Morgan and Lydia, at least some of our stores will be lit. They deserve some recognition for all of their efforts to make this happen. But
I feel terrible that I can’t even get out of bed to help) : So, there it is…back to bed for me