Rose Foubert, right, enjoys a laugh with a long-time customer and friend during a retirement party at the EV Malt Shop in North English on Sunday, Oct. 15. Rose and her husband, Dave, have sold the popular eatery after more than 23 years in business and are retiring. It was standing room only as folks came to share well wishes with Dave and Rose all while enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with all the fixings. The event is small-town living at its finest.
It’s not uncommon to drive through a small town and not see a soul. Someone might be mowing the yard or working in the flower bed, maybe tuning up their old Chevrolet, but most days, small town living is peaceful and quiet.
But when a family falls on hard times or suffers a setback, folks come from everywhere to help. It’s like they grow out of the woodwork or spout from the yard.
They bring a pocketful of cash and show up in great numbers for their friends, family and neighbors.
The same holds true for a town celebration or when a veteran is welcomed home. Maybe the community center needs updated or a new playground for the area youngsters is needed. Or the local fire department needs a new truck or some updated gear.
I’ve witnessed, not only personally, but as a journalist the many times folks have come together to help each other through a rough patch in life or make their community better.
Just this year, after our van caught fire, Ron the Barber in Montezuma set up a fund drive to help us get another vehicle. And a co-worker of mine also set up a fund drive. Together, the funds raised made a difference and we were able to get a vehicle.
It amazes me how generous folks can be and the love that they share for others.
Having grown up in a big city, there are a lot of goods folks there as well.
I’ve always said that a big city is a bunch of small towns tied together.
I mowed my neighbor’s yards and tossed the morning and afternoon newspapers on their porches. I stopped to visit on occasion, most often at Mr. and Mrs. Belknap’s home to the north of my boyhood home, where I enjoyed playing dominos with Mr. Bell, as I called him.
Anytime I go back to Tulsa town, I always drive by my boyhood home. The last time I was there, I stopped and Debbie took my photo in front of the old home place.
I have lots of great memories.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, I made the trek to my old stomping grounds of North English. I got my start in the world of small-town journalism at the North English Record.
I have lots of fond memories of my 2.7 years in North English. There were lots of great people who gave me the opportunity to share their story in the pages of the Record.
I made friends quickly and was often invited to eat dinner with town folks. My publisher in Marengo said I would set up interviews in the early evening so I could stay and eat supper. There’s some truth to that statement.
Anyway, I was in North English to wish Dave and Rose Foubert, long-time owners of the EV Malt Shop, the best in their retirement.
Dave and Rose met while working at Amana Refrigeration. Rose heard that the EV Malt Shop was for sale, so she left her job at Amana and took a chance.
That was June 2000.
It was a chance that paid big dividends as the malt shop was a popular place for families to gather and the locals to catch up on the town gossip while drinking a cup or two of coffee.
And on Sunday, it was standing-room only as folks came to share a kind word and laugh, give Rose a hug and shake Dave’s hand, all while enjoying a fresh BBQ pork sandwich, cole slaw, baked beans, chips and slice of cake.
It was great seeing some the folks I remember from back in the day. I had to ask some their names as I knew them, but didn’t remember their names.
I wouldn’t trade the experience of working at a small-town weekly for anything. It’s been my home for almost 26-years. People have been good to me.
I met my wife, Debbie, in Montezuma and she is such a blessing to me. Together, we are doing great things.
It’s good to take time to visit and reconnect with folks. I appreciate everyone who has opened their hearts and homes and shared their stories for others to enjoy through my pen and camera.
Living in a small town is just the best.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.