Thursday, January 16, 2020

Memories and a Message

Last week I shared some old photos of Forman on our Facebook page. After I post these  pieces of city history I’m always amazed at the number of comments and reactions. My favorite thing to see happening on these vintage pictures is watching Forman residents reconnecting. They maybe haven’t been in contact in years but a comment on an old photo suddenly has classmates or neighbors reminiscing together. A photo has an amazing ability to bring back memories of another time, like it was just yesterday.

 Seeing the comments and connections posted I was reminded of our city motto. We are a Forever Hometown. Whether you are coming, going, or here right now we want Forman to be that place that brings back a smile on your face as you recall your first job, that neighbor who was like a grandma to you, or playing baseball out by the fairgrounds.

Another great thing about sharing old photos is that people who have longer memories can recall dates and locations to help us identify businesses or houses that are no longer standing. We’re always on the look out for more photos of Forman, so if you have any to share with us we would be grateful.

While looking at pictures from the earlier days of the town is a delightful walk down memory lane, it can become easy to compare those days to now days. Sometimes those comparisons can lead to discouragement. “Wouldn’t it be great to have a theater again?”, “ I remember when Main Street was full of businesses and now look at it.” “I never thought we wouldn’t have an open grocery store.” While it’s important to be realistic about where we are currently and be serious in addressing challenges, we should never forget the positives as well.

Main Street might be quieter but there are a half dozen businesses on the highway that were never there years ago, not to mention a new housing development to the south. While retail services are not as plentiful we’re seeing growth in service industries and manufacturing in our area. Growing up in Forman in the eighties and nineties I remember walking past an empty lot on Maple Ave for years. Today that lot is home to a large industrial building that is part of a growing business.

Multiple sources show our median age as being younger than many other parts of the state. Young people are moving back or settling in town for the first time to enjoy the safety and relaxed pace that small town life has to offer. We have a museum and a wellness center that would be the envy of many communities, as well as new assisted living facility and a recently expanded nursing home.

As we work to come up with viable options for Main Street spaces and attracting businesses and growth in town we remember where we came from, but we also have faith in a bright future for our Forever Hometown. We hope you'll join us with your ideas and energy to make Forman a better place in 2020. 

Paige Cary 
Forman Economic Development Coordinator 

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