Portageville's offerings

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

There is a lot to be said about living in a small town. Although because we live in a face paced society, we really do not see the blessings that are right in front of our face.

For a town this size, we do have a good school system. Portageville have an outstanding Fall softball team who won Third Place in the state championship games. This is only their third year to play fall softball. That takes a lot of talent and great leadership.

Portageville have an outstanding volleyball team. For the second straight year, they have won their district volleyball tournament sending them into sectional playoffs. The female athletic programs has really stepped it up and gaining attention of folks all over the state.

Portageville have a good basketball program. It is not often that small town basketball program can win state championships like Portageville has. They had back-to-back championships in the early 1990's. Has made it state playoffs many times since the year 2000.

Plus, we have some really smart students. It is not often that you have students tie for valedictorian.

Yes, we do have a good school. Sure, there may be some cut backs and shortcomings, but what doesn't.

Portageville is the home of a world re-known agricultural research center that offers cutting edge research in many areas, not just how to produce better crops, but energy efficiency and life sciences.

Portageville offers travel access by rail, a major Interstate, and river port access. Some call this a way out of town but that road goes two ways, a way to Portageville.

In a small town, the crime rate if far less that an inner city. That itself is a big plus.

Living is a small city, we do not have to drive an hour to work even when you live with in 10 minutes of the City.

The City does have shopping malls and lots of crowds to squeeze through. If we had that here, we would not want to go elsewhere. The thoughts of having that kind of an economy may sound good, but looked at St. Louis and Memphis, most of the prime malls and now obsolete, and some are just empty buildings.

Living in a small community allows you to know the local business owners. Most of us are struggling through the same low paced economy, and that is why we should support each other, and buy from each other as often as possible. Some are saying that because, we know someone, that is why we go elsewhere. That only benefits you on the short-term. Each time we buy out of town based on personality clashes, the community suffers a whole lot more.

There are times, myself included, that we do go to other City's and shop, and to some degree that is okay too. We must keep in mind that money spent at home, stays at home.

At one time, Portageville had several community organizations, each with there own projects, and the local economy supported all of these efforts. Why? It was local people supporting local people and the money spent at these events shifted locally.

I remember as a child living in Piedmont, a group of local doctors and lawyers, local businesses and organizations hosted two big time country music legends, Tom T. Hall and Jerry Reed. I do not remember the reason why they came, but they did. The group hosting the event went broke, and that was the last time any big name star made their way to Piedmont.

Looking through our files, Jerry Reed came to Portageville to the soybean festival. I am sure that the streets of Portageville were filled, and the local restaurants and motels enjoyed that short-term economic boost.

I remember as a young cub reporter covering the Greenville Fourth of July Picnic, sponsored by the Lions Club. They had all kinds of activities, pageants and local musical bands to perform. To my knowledge, the Greenville Lions Club like many small town organizations quit mainly due to lack of membership. However, the City of Greenville saw the need to keep these events up and going. After all the Fourth of July is the birthday of this great country.

Let's bring this back to Portageville. I know that times are tough. Believe me, when your business is hurting, mine is too. I also know when you stop doing things, it is really tough to get back going.

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