Editorial by the Call
Change is hard.
And as you can see across this issue, south county is changing.
The changing of the guard certainly isn’t new. Beloved institutions like Crestwood Plaza and the Tesson Ferry Library are only memories.
But this year seems to be particularly painful for those with nostalgia for the south county of the past.
After 55 years, Tower Tee golf course will close in July, perhaps to make way for a 158-home subdivision.
Show Me Lanes Bowling Center, open for nearly 40 years, has already closed and could become a new four-story U-Haul self-storage facility.
The site of Sappington Garden Shop is contracted to become the new location of the Affton Southwest Precinct.
Although everyone seems to agree the police need a new precinct, many of the garden shop’s loyal customers would no doubt prefer to see it stay just as it has been since 1967.
They’ve said the same about Tower Tee and Show Me Lanes.
And that’s not the end of it.
Mateker’s Meats & Catering, which has been a mainstay in south county since 1932, announces in this edition of the Call that it is closing June 30.
It’s a sad reality, but not a hopeless one. As older businesses close, new ones come in. And that isn’t always a bad thing. This issue also chronicles new developments in south county.
Construction will soon start on the second location of Fitz’s Root Beer and the sixth location of The Shack breakfast restaurant, which Arnold resident Daniel Jones is bringing to a long-vacant site on South Lindbergh.
The development will be new, but the name will be “Gathering Square,” which heralds a return to the times when people gathered together and actually talked without technology interfering. Even as things around us change, we can keep the old-fashioned values that are worth saving.
When we look back on all these successful local businesses that lasted 40, 55 or even an amazing 80 years, the thing they most had in common is that they brought people together.
In the debate at a public hearing last week on an apartment complex proposed along Interstate 55, the site’s immediate neighbors completely opposed it while a parade of other residents argued that it’s time to see something new in south county.
It seems that they’re already getting it, whether they like it or not.
In the meantime, support your local businesses while they’re still around.
They may not be here forever.