We have been hearing all winter that with all of the RV factories closing down and taking their support businesses with them, Elkhart, Indiana has turned into a virtual ghost town. If you would believe the national news media (and who doesn’t take everything they say as gospel?), Elkhart’s streets are lined with empty storefronts and closed up shops.
Judging by what we have seen since we’ve been here, the news of Elkhart’s death has been greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase the great orator Mark Twain.
While we were out running some errands yesterday, we drove many of the streets we are familiar with, and we saw two storefronts that have closed since we were here last year. One was a truck and van accessory shop, in a building where we have seen small many businesses come and go over the years, and the other was a showroom that last had a small independent RV dealership as a tenant.
Meanwhile, we saw two or three new businesses that have opened since we left last September, and the established businesses we drove past all had busy parking lots. Elkhart Campground seems just as busy as always, and owner Bob Patel told me that they have not seen a dramatic downturn. So if you are coming through the area, stop in and stay a while. Elkhart is alive and well.
Yesterday Terry was still not feeling much better, so we went to the MedPoint Express care center at one of the Martins Supermarkets here in Elkhart. The MedPoint Express centers have a nurse practioner on duty for non-emergency medical issues such as colds, flu, and such. After examining Terry, the nurse practioneer told her she has a serious ear and upper respiratory infection along with the flu, and prescribed amoxicillin for the ear infection and a cough suppressant. We were impressed to learn that the pharmacy at Martins does not charge for antibiotics if a customer has one of their free customer courtesy cards.
As proof that paybacks will get you every time, it seems like the cold I had at Escapade and gave to Terry has come full circle and nailed me again. I spent most of yesterday coughing and sucking on Ricola throat lozenges.
Back at the bus, I gave a telephone interview to a very nice young woman from Pineapple Publications. She is writing a book on self-publishing on a budget and will be using some articles I have on my Publishing4Profit website. We covered everything from blogging to why I concentrate on writing and self-publishing non-fiction instead of fiction.
Actually, I wrote a couple of mystery novels back in the late 1970s that were published. By the time I wrote and re-wrote them to meet the publisher’s demands, and my agent got her slice, I made almost half of what I would have if I had put the same time into working behind the counter at a fast food restaurant.
I’ve got a couple of other mysteries sitting on my computer’s hard drive that I wrote a few years back, just for fun, but they’ll probably never see the light of day. Unless you get very, very lucky, you’re not going to become the next Stephen King or John Grisham, and I know I’m darned sure never going to be that lucky. I’ll stick with being a hack and doing what I do best.
Thought For The Day – Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald they don’t recognize you.