Believe it or not
Many ask us why we ever bought
the Passion Pit. How could we see
beyond years of neglect to the end
result? The brave even dare to ask
"Why Lewistown, Montana?" All
are valid queries and our response
is "We love both the house" or "We
love Lewistown." While said retorts
may seem trite - that's exactly why
we're here. You see, there's little
reason to rehabilitate an old house
or aging community other than
pure, unbridled, blind PASSION.
Sadly, not everybody feels the same
way. Many state it would be better
to tear down our historic downtown
rather than restore. Others hold no
hope given they feel Lewistown is
terminally ill. Their opinions may
be fueled by rumor, innuendo, and
ignorance. However such negativity
poisons and slowly kills whatever is
around it. And while I hate to admit
it - after a year of living side by side
with said naysayers... even the most
optimistic can get beaten down.
Oddly said position is the opposite of
what's actually happening here in the
middle of nowhere. We are blessed to
have a modern local hospital with an
amazing state-of-the-art Emergency
Room. Last year we raised millions
to build a new community pool and
construction starts this fall. A new
retail complex anchored by a Tractor
Supply store is being built on the edge
of town. Local manufacturing and
construction firms continue to grow
at rapid rates. So what's the problem?
Our local hotel recently sold to investors
from New York. Renovation has started
on the facility and the new rooms we've
toured are QUALITY. Their Executive
Chef who also hails from out east is now
transforming the hostelry's cuisine. From
what we've tasted so far - it's great! With
such an influx of new people and cash -
all seems to indicate that good things are
happening here in Lewistown. Hence our
future is bright. Yet why do some opt to
continue to literally drag us down and...
WHY DO WE LET THAT HAPPEN?!
Walk the walk
Perception is reality. Given some
focus on what's wrong - do little
to fix it - and spew negativity -
we must counter their bad rap.
Yesterday I met with friends to
identify new ways to divert said
downward momentum. The bulk
of our ideas focused on building
community morale - changing our
attitudes - and moving on "next"
while leveraging our past. Said
dreams may be embryonic, but
at least we're thinking positively.
Lewistown, Montana needs your help.
Rather than bemoan empty storefronts
we must shop locally rather than load
up in Billings. If it seems that nothing
is happening, we must join together
to make something happen. While the
old guard tries to stand in the way of
progress, we must push them aside in
order to move forward! Lewistown's
future may be bright - but somebody
has to flip the switch and turn up the
power! Nothing will change unless
everyone changes their outlook!
We are not alone
This problem isn't ours alone. Across
America communities are constantly
reinventing as new challenges arise.
Eliminating the past benefits no one.
Restoration is a key component of all
renewal. It's beauty and continuity not
only affirms where we've been. It also
fuels where we're going. True revival
requires a commitment to honoring
all who've come and gone before us.
Without them we would be nothing.
Hence our past fuels our future even
if some of us don't like to admit it.
Fountain of youth?
Savannah, Georgia is considered one
of America's most beautiful cities.
Yet depending on the neighborhood
blight thrives in "paradise". In the
video below Giselle Rahn shares her
experience of restoring an abandoned
home in said city. She eloquently talks
of stewardship. Of making wherever
you live a better place. Not only for
you but for future generations. Are
you investing in your community's
future? Maybe it's time we all put
our money where our mouths are!