What is the first thing that comes to mind when reading the title of this article? If you are like me, it’s the famous line joyfully shouted by Jimmy Stewart in my all time favorite Christmas movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Eleven years ago when my husband and I first discovered Montrose, we had no idea that a place like this existed anywhere near Los Angeles. I’ll never forget that very first time we parked on Honolulu Avenue in front of Andersen’s Pets. We exited the car and started walking toward the present day location of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The street was alive with blooming jacaranda trees and we were completely enchanted. Little did we know then that we would open stores here, make a world of new friends and get involved in serving this wonderful family-oriented community.
Montrose reminds me of Bedford Falls in so many ways. In the movie, Jimmy Stewart got to see what it was like when the people and things he loved were not there, when the town he loved lost its charm to the greed of Mr. Potter. I can really appreciate this as a small storeowner in the midst of this ongoing recession. Those of us who are left are so thankful to be here and are doing everything we know to move through the waves of this economy. We have a vision for Montrose as a place where entrepreneurs can “set up shop” and bless us with the unique services they offer … where “Mom and Pop” reign. May it always be!
We are also so very thankful for you. You have so many choices these days where you can shop. Big box stores and discounters have sprung up like weeds all around. And then there are the malls with their never ending stores and the people and noise that accompany them. Why shop in a little town like Montrose?
Well, I’ll tell you what I’m noticing of late. There is a movement afoot, a ground-swell if you will. Like Jimmy Stewart in the movie, folks have seen the stores they have loved swept away. The owners of these stores weren’t ready to go. They loved what they did. But we have all seen it happen and we are starting to wake up. I have witnessed a great many people come in to our stores this year and tell us they are doing their part because they don’t want us to go away, too. They are tired of buying foreign goods and are happy to see things that are made in America. They understand that by supporting the small stores and one-of-a-kind restaurants they are helping their community and keeping unique towns like Montrose alive.
So I say, “Merry Christmas, Montrose” and Merry Christmas to you! It has been our pleasure to once again decorate our little town with so many festive and glorious lights.
Please ponder these words as you enjoy your Old Town Christmas in Montrose.