I WENT OUT of town to work for Gus Macker this past weekend. As always, it's interesting to see how other cities organize tournaments, and how successfully (or not) the best-laid plans are carried out.
I came back to Quincy last night about 7:30, rolling into the city via Ill. 57, and it struck me how much I missed it and how many good things we have going here. And I was only gone two and a half days.
Angus and Tucker were overjoyed to see me. Sheryl seemed content after a weekend to herself - I am a lucky man. "Go work for Gus. You are always in a better mood when you come back and it's a good gig. Go! Go!" she always says.
My appreciation for Quincy grows. I've been here 20 years. I love the Mississippi River's slow and muddy crawl. I love bitching about going "all the way across town" to get to Sam's Club or Lowe's. Heaven forbid I get stuck behind four cars at 24th and Harrison (we DON'T need a light there). There are cookie cutter restaurants and threats of more coming, but it's comforting to know Drake's, Tiramisu, Chicks, One, Thyme Square and others are right downtown.
Business is good. The bridge closing has hurt our store traffic (a little), but we are getting more and more loyal customers and familiar faces are a comfort in the wild and wacky world of retail. More and more we are becoming THE music store in Quincy. I will have much more about that later in the week.
This is not a perfect place, and never will be. There are still things we need to improve, and we have to be more forward-thinking and open-minded about the years to come. But this isn't a gray and drab place, with no hope and a peeling facade.
This weekend, people asked me where I'm from. I proudly said, "Quincy!" And it felt good.