Save Fry Street—Or End Up Just LIke Everyone Else…a letter to the Denton Record Chronicle
from me, Sara Hickman
When I think of breakfast, I think of fresh scrambled eggs, hot, steaming coffee, and, of course, scintillating conversation.
I definately do not think of McDonald’s.
As an art student at University of North Texas, I can vividly remember cramming into a booth at Jim’s Diner each morning to talk with friends about politics, history, art, music, sex, you name it. The faces in the restaurant were like family to me…from the waiters to the owners to my friends. There was always a “Mornin'” and a cuppa joe waiting just for me.
Sadly, fellowship isn’t something you can share in a drive through, where human faces rarely see one another. And with more mom and pop shops put out of business by corporate greed, the more there is a lack of connection in every community—locally, and globally. Less and less of the good ol’ American Dream can flourish—where we all want to succeed through hard work, honesty, integrity, and the hope that we will be passing the dream of individual success on to our own children.
Looking back now, I can also tell stories of performing on stage at the Library, where I learned my craft of playing the guitar and wooing an audience; or buying tchotckes at Voertman’s, just because I had a couple of extra bucks and someone’s birthday was on the horizon; jumping up and down at the Sami house in a toga, sweat thick as pea soup, everyone’s laughter drowning out the band on the front porch as we prayed the wooden floor beneath our barefeet wouldn’t cave in from the enthusiastic bouncing. (I know the Sami house is gone—but not the memories.)
To think that Fry Street could become another bland, corporate run
mini-mall is very disturbing to me. Let me tell you why:
Who in their right mind would want to fly to Hawaii and eat a taco from Taco Bell? And wear a Hawaiian shirt they bought at the JCPenney in Maui? Isn’t that the whole point of travel? That we get to experience the local flora and fauna and food and handmade clothing and hear people speak in their native tongue? Who wants to come to Denton and have it look just like Tulsa or London? Each and every location should always have it’s own personality…And, yet, this is what is happening all over the world. Your opportunity to experience something wonderful and new is being replaced with blandness and sameness. We all drink Coke. We all watch American Idol. We all wear the same slave-labor clothing from Wal-Mart. With the demise of town personalities follows the demise of our own personalities.
When people ask me of my memories from college, I can talk for hours about my experiences in Denton, and not one of them includes, “Remember that time we were at Jack in the Box?” or, “Gosh, I remember that time at the mall…” No. My memories are treasures I’ve collected from mom and pop establishments where my friends and I liked to hang out.
So, do you want Denton to stay unique? All it takes is for you to say, “No!” to further development. Support your neighbors’, and your own!, dreams. Keep Denton a place for locals, students and visitors to build one of a kind treasured memories.
On A Quest to Save Fry Street,