To the Daily Sun:
In July 2017 I will be a resident of Laconia for 40 years. I am still considered a "flatlander" by many and will never reach the status of being "a local," but that is okay. I am privileged to be married to a Laconia "native" and have heard the many stories of growing up in downtown Laconia. The shopping, the holidays, the Colonial Theater and 25 cent admission to a Saturday afternoon matinee, walking to Opechee Cove for swimming lessons and many many more. In the near 40 years of my adult life here, raising three children and growing to love the Lakes Region, we all spent much time shopping downtown, welcoming the Christmas season by watching the parade, the Christmas Open Houses on a Sunday before Christmas, shopping local for all the families needs: gifts from Sundial, clothing from O'Shea's, Junior Deb, shoes from Melnick's, jewelry from Sawyer's and All My Life Jewelers. We loved Benjamin's, Levasseur's for the dads and so many more downtown shops.
As the years passed, so did many of the shopping opportunities. And so to the mall in Concord and Manchester we drove for the family's needs. It was never the same, we missed the personal touch and the local connection.
And now there are happenings in downtown once again. The antique shops are fun and a reason to go back downtown, and now the renovation of the Colonial is exciting, and again there are a few shops to bring you down. Last week I ran down in hopes to pick up a birthday gift and went into The Studio. I was immediately greeted by Melissa with a "Hi Marcia" and picked a couple of wonderful things in a wonderful and maybe wacky little shop. After chatting I left and discovered a newly opened shop right next door — Curiousity and Co. Milk glass painting classes are run here and the loveliest gift shop. Then a quick stop at All My Life Jewelers. It was enchanting. Was I really downtown Laconia? I left with a few gifts and drove home with a wonderful feeling of hometown. I felt hopeful about our wonderful little town for the first time in quite a while, there is hope, there is potential, there is much more to come.
Take some time and see what might be downtown for you — The Wayfarer Coffee Shop, The Local meat and fish market, the bakeries, All My Life and Sawyer's for jewelry and see the progress in the old Sundial. There are antiques that are drawing shoppers from afar and remember that feeling when someone smiles and says a warm hello as you walk into their establishment. And treat yourself to a lunch or dinner at the many restaurants and sandwich shops too. Again a local restaurant is better in so many ways than one of the big chains.
Enjoy our assets and believe in the future of downtown Laconia!
Marcia G. Dionne
- Category: Letters
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