Jamestown is a unique island
At the time of writing, I am preparing to fly back to Denver, which has been home for me for the last three years. I left my home in Jamestown in 2002 and lived in Phoenix until about a year after I had finished college. Then I moved to Colorado, so I have spent very little time in Jamestown since I left.
On my visits, I have seen a number of changes occur here in my hometown and many of the most recent ones have been extremely positive. I remember the battle that ensued when we tried to persuade the town to give us a public skate park, and now we have perhaps the best one in southern New England. Jamestown is now home to at least two professional skateboarders. I mention this only to underscore the diversity of population that we have allowed ourselves to breed. We are not just another wealthy New England town. We are a wealthy New England town that has used its potential to build an environment for creativity and expression, and I think that we should be extremely proud of ourselves for having done that.
Jamestown is a place that is fiercely opposed to corporate influence. The island is home to two gas stations and these, I am happy to say, represent the only corporate business establishments on the island (and the only chains, unless you count Mc- Quades, which only has two other locations).
Jamestown has constantly demonstrated that it is able to meet all of its needs via its small businesses, and in my trips home, I have noticed that even in the difficult economy of recent years, new businesses have opened and old ones have thrived. Jamestown now has a fitness center and a new arts center, and I am happy to say that Slice of Heaven is still owned by the same wonderful people who operated it the last time I was here.
This has not always been true of Jamestown business.
There has been a lot of turnover, and I think that the recent success story has been that entrepreneurs in Jamestown have built businesses that cater to the needs and wants of people who live here, rather than attempting to capitalize of the tempting allure of tourist dollars from visitors.
Now that enrepreneurs have devoted themselves to providing goods and services for ordinary Jamestowners; it is up to all of you to support them and help them thrive so that Jamestown can remain forever free of Walmart, Starbucks and 24 Hour Fitness. Go lift weights at the new gym over by the library, get coffee at Slice of Heaven, check out the new arts center. Support some old stuff and take in a play when the Jamestown Community Theatre has one to present. My trip back here has taught me that not only do you have everything you need right here, but unlike almost any other community in the county, it is going to be better than you’re going to get anywhere else, so take advantage of it so it doesn’t go away.