Life is all about progress and movement, keep it moving.Hopal Green
Relocation has been the leitmotif of my life. And not just in the physical sense of moving to a new town though that was a constant until I was thirty. Relocation is that ever present mirage that crystallizes when awareness is summoned – like absorbing a new outlook or committing to a more productive habit or even, shocker…recognizing that you are rocking a different body.
During the late eighties, inside my more childlike frame, I bought a small business after moving to a small town. These facts coincided with the announcement of a new General Motors facility scheduled to plop down into the nearby rolling green countryside.
Day in and out for years, I welcomed newbies to the area. Some of these untrained citizens could be categorized as retirees, but primarily the tenderfoots were builders of the newfangled Saturn automobile. Exchanges with these long time Michigan residents were my privilege.
In the pre-cell phone, pre-“be safe” era, newcomers answered their telephones when I called from my post with The Columbia Welcome Service and invited me over. They were relieved to ask questions about their new home place and get the skinny on best businesses from a local.
Often after a visit, channeling the heavy heart of relocation, my mind would wander to a childhood favorite, the Shirley Temple movie Young People. The flick chronicled a family vaudeville act The Ballentines transitioning as hopeful retirees into small town life.
Wendy, Joe and Kit attempted to charm the natives, but were rebuffed until a hurricane hit their village. God bless those Ballentines, they knew how to resurrect spirits and save the day. I loved that fairy tale.
But in the days of Saturn, the Ballentines were as rare as a blue roses. And the citizenry wasn’t skilled in integrating new ideas and making change. Our municipality had a thing going with 200 year old self-sufficiency.
Still the tingle of possibility was always present, but as my brother-in-law once said, “What to do, what to do?”
Post economic downturn and a generation later, newcomers are streaming into the same hamlet…ideas and energy unbridled. Hearts and minds are more bendable, a virtue of another newcomer, the internet.
And over time, one of the most pervasive pitch-in acts that I have ever observed would be that of the ever steadfast Kim Hayes and Joel Friddell. They moved their business to the downtown square, got married and celebrated on the downtown square and remodeled a building to live and work in…. on the downtown square.
At the same time, unlike so many rural spaces and places of today, Columbia, Tennessee was and now is officially in rebirth. Close to Nashville, there appears to be more than a stirring of the artful. Old businesses are selling their spaces and wrapping it up. Buildings are being purchased at a rapid rate. Each month the whirling dervish of new economies inhabit and launch.
Kim and Joel have expertise in transitions of the sort . They recently approached the Downtown Columbia Business & Professionals Association which was formed in 1987. The Association lent their details and the remaining treasury for a reorganized concept.
The evolution has brought on a new huddle. They make for a prismatic bunch: a young financial investor who has a lifetime devotion to the city, a barbershop proprietor who has a keen eye for events, a bed and breakfast possessor who chats daily with tourists, a designer and art gallery owner, a bicycle shop holder with a penchant for antiquities and a marketing guru with branding, digital media, and web development skills.
This gang has new eyes to begin again. Grow Columbia is buzzing. https://growcolumbia.com
Joel says, “Grow Columbia is simply a way to advocate for Columbia businesses.” And the group began things with a recent and mighty cocktail gathering. Keynote friend Mike Wolfe of American Pickers http://www.antiquearchaeology.com/locations.php perked up everydayness with images of a noted particular: Columbia is a quaint city on the verge, y’all.
Grow Columbia will focus on one something at a time. Like proper signage. Hey there. Who anywhere out there in the universe has not lamented proper signage?
Now with the consent of the city government it is going to happen. What’s next?
Some regional promotion, some fun, some new friendships and definitely some things to brag about when somebody new comes to town.
Marcella Hazan’s Roast Chicken with Lemons
Kim and Joel love to cook. The kitchen in their renovated downtown loft is designed to that end. “Everything in its place,” says Kim.
Joel notes that scratch pizza is his gig – a recipe somewhere between his mother – “follow the recipe” and his father – “do your own thing”.
Kim is famous for granola.
On a regular basis with a view of West 7th Street, they serve Marcella Hazan’s recipe for never-fail roast chicken.
3 to 4 pound chicken
black pepper from the mill
2 small lemons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out. Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose. Let the bird sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly tilted plate to let all the water drain out of it. Pat it thoroughly dry all over with cloth or paper towels.
Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on the chicken, rubbing it with your fingers over all its body and into its cavity.
Wash the lemons in cold water and dry them with a towel. Soften each lemon by placing it on a counter and rolling it back and forth as you put firm downward pressure on it with the palm of hand. Puncture the lemons a at least 20 places each, using a sturdy round toothpick or a fork.
Place both lemons in the bird’s cavity. Close up the opening with string. Leave the legs in their natural position without pulling them tight.
Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast facing down. The bird is self-basting. Place it in the upper third of the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to have the breast face up.
Cook for another 30 minutes, then turn the oven up to 400 degrees, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Calculate 20 minutes total cooking time for each pound.