I can’t think of anything man-made that doesn’t have a shelf life. Nothing we have will last forever. The empty lot next to Classic Realty is proof of that. There have been many businesses and buildings that have come and gone. With the city of Hillsboro having many new leaders in place just this month, I wonder if we will see more change. It seems like just last week my grandfather took me to Sparky Sider’s store on Main Street to get my first ball glove. Like many others, that store is long gone.
I can recall several that used to be in our area. The Festival of The Bells that was set in the center of town for 34 years is now held at Southern State College. Southern State’s south campus is now closed. We have lost Kmart, AAA, Stephano’s Pizza, The Colony Theatre, and I am sure I have missed many others. There are also a few fairly large businesses for sale locally. Will the new owners keep them as is, or will they make those businesses something entirely different? Time will tell. It will not matter if we like the changes or not, but we will have to accept them. That’s not to say the losses were good or bad.
Despite these losses, businesses are still expanding and coming in new to the area. Highland District Hospital is also changing and in the middle of a major expansion. There is a new barbeque restaurant doing renovations in the old Stephano’s building. Rural King is going to open in March. We have gained Hibbett Sports, Impact Fitness and Ventura Feed. The new Marriot Inn will also begin construction sometime in the future. Dr. McConnaughey and Dr. Ballard are relocating and building a new office in Hillsboro.
Admittingly, I am one that resists change. I get up about the same time each day and eat two boiled eggs with a bagel and have coffee each morning. I would still wear earth shoes if I could find them. Ask your mom and dad what those were if you’re not sure. Accepting change can often be difficult. Just because that’s the way it’s always been doesn’t mean we should not consider a new way.
If you’re like me and sometimes struggle with change, maybe we should consider our Constitution. Since it was put into operation on March 21, 1789, there have been 33 amendments (or changes) that our government felt needed to be made. Were those changes good? These changes gave us rights such as allowing women to vote, abolishing slavery and the right to bear arms. The obvious answer is yes, they were good changes.
These new things to come will bring many good changes. They will bring more jobs and more people to our area. These people will buy homes, spend money, pay taxes, go to churches, attend local functions, buy insurance, purchase groceries, and many other items right here. They will have great ideas and visions of new things. They will call Highland County their home. These are all good things for our local economy.
Like it or not, there’s one thing that’s certain. Change will happen. I think Sam Cooke said it best in a song, “A change is gonna come.”
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.