Calm, peaceful Main Street in Yale, MI, in 2009. My dad sits on that bench waiting for me with a cappuccino.
Last Tuesday morning, just before Barry and I drove to Marquette for a lovely pre-Valentines Day weekend getaway, my mom emailed.
The Dodge Garage building, owned by my mother, in my hometown of Yale in the Thumb of Michigan, was burning.
By the grace of God and maybe twenty-one fire departments, this proved to be the only building to burn beyond recognition on Yale’s Main Street on this cold winter day last week.
What else could have burned to the ground, to no longer exist except in memory? The Wash House, next door, owned by my brother, Scot, could have incinerated. Although it’s been badly damaged on one wall, I suspect (and insurance willing) that someday folks will once again wash and dry clothes in the laundromat.
The Yale Expositor, our dear weekly newspaper, could have disappeared from its old building. It could be no more. The owners (one of whom I babysat years and years ago in another lifetime) worked ceaselessly to save historical books and microfilm.
And further down the street, right at the corner, our family’s pharmacy still stands strong. Owned now by my brother, Scot, it still survives to fill prescriptions for those in pain, in ill-health, in need of medication. It still survives as a place where one can buy greeting cards, or Ladies Home Journal, or a gift for Grandma’s birthday.
Other buildings, on the other side of the Dodge Garage, could have ignited, just like that, never to be seen again, never to be visited, shopped, enjoyed.
Even better than the survival of all these old buildings is that no one was injured or killed in that massive blaze that brought tears to the faces of many. Thank goodness. No lives were lost.