Well, the town didn't burn down or anything, but it might as well have.
Everything's been closing down — pharmacy, bank, grocery and hardware. The place was about to become a grease-spot in the road.
The forestry and fishing industries went to pieces after a century of strip-mining. Well, that's what happens to a resource when people forget that these things are on a 400-year cycle, not on a 20 year or even a 50 year cycle. Nobody lives long enough for full replacement.
But a bunch of concerned citizens — okay, a bunch of hilarious mouthy pushy women and men — have gotten up on their hind legs and said they're going to save their community.
And they're not going to do it by begging another industry to come in and save me daddy save me. They're putting together co-ops and businesses. What they hope to sell up here at the co-op is locally-raised beef, truly free-range eggs, honey, goat milk and even specialty cheeses, for local people as well as tourists to buy and enjoy at decent prices. Good food that will not only keep down prices, but improve health.
Like somebody said, "We hit bottom and now we're bouncing."
This place is on the move. Check out the flag-raising at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uBvpbMz8pg
The "Chain Gang" they're talking about are low-level offenders who welcome the chance to enjoy the privilege of getting outside to work in the fresh air for the community. Nobody's out there busting rocks! This ain't Arkansas.