Saturday, January 22, 2011

Walla Walla takes a walk on the wild "Christmas Carol" side

Some of my readers may not know that I am also a regular contributor to Walla Walla Lifestyles, a magazine about the valley's people, wine and food. In fact, some of you may not know about the magazine at all. It is distributed 11 times a year through subscription with the Walla Walla Union Bulletin.

This particular article, I have received many kind emails and comments and thought it was worthy of sharing once again. Thank you.

I love this town, and having lived here all my life, I have lots of fond memories of Walla Walla before it became a wine destination.

I’m also a big supporter of business, especially our local wineries. The positive things that that industry has done for the area are innumerable — creating full-time jobs not least among them. But not everyone feels this way.

Local citizens, expressing their opinions at city council meetings, in letters to the editor, and especially on Facebook, seem to feel that the local wine industry — evidently flush with money — should pay to fix street potholes, resurrect the privately owned Blue Mountain Mall, and build a public swimming pool.

Some anti-wine industry folks have even posited that the city’s fining of the downtown purple mollusk was driven by the wine industry, and followed it with the inevitable “I wish Walla Walla was the way it used to be.”

In the holiday spirit, my gift to the community is that, for one evening, these folks get their wish during a long winter’s nap — to clearly see Walla Walla “as it used to be,” and then to visit it in a future where no wineries were thriving. Just like Ebenezer Scrooge, who got to walk with the ghosts of Christmas past and future, perhaps they will come to see the error of their ways.

If you lived in Walla Walla 30 years ago, you will remember the way Walla Walla “used to be.”

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