Last week Dan and I traveled to Lindsborg, Kansas—just south of Salina on Hwy 135. Our niece, Amy Kay, husband Dane, Sebastian and Atticus now live there, having moved from Jacksonville, Illinois. Dane was selected as the new Athletic Director for Bethany College located in Lindsborg. Amy Kay has started her second fair trade store named Connected on Lindsborg’s famous main street. She sold her first store on the town square in Jacksonville. I wrote about that store here when we traveled there to help paint and build a fitting room.
When we arrived in Lindsborg, we hugged, said our hellos and jumped right into building another…that’s right, another fitting room.
Dan, of course, wielded the tape measure, saw, sheetrock, door and trim. I was the go-fer. We make a good team. The little room was complete except for paint and floor covering in two days. No pictures, check it out when you visit the store!
In the process of working on the project, we found ourselves quickly drawn into the small town atmosphere. Lindsborg sets itself apart from other small towns with its tremendous pride in its Swedish heritage. Not only pride but enthusiasm and energy in support of their town. Here are a few examples.
Amy Kay is the new person on the downtown block but was welcomed by all with open arms and assistance. We managed to meet her business neighbors on both sides because they came in to help or lend. Lindsborg does not need a big box store, the hardware store down the way from Amy Kay’s store has nearly everything we need and the friendly lady at the check out put it on Amy Kay’s running tab. Once a month, they walk the half block to Amy Kay’s store with the bill and she writes a check. (Yes, that still happens)
We walk a block and a half to the Ole Stuga bar. It is the founder of the famous Brent Nelson Sandwich. It is a meeting place (literally, a place where the city holds planning meetings for their town events) and National television winner, it was featured on Good Morning America. When we were there, we were continually greeted by locals just passing by.
Friday at noon was the high school Homecoming Parade. Everyone in high school was in the parade. So, it made two trips through town.
Amy Kay and Dane live one block from the business and one block from the kid’s school. Only a block and a half from Bethany College and Dane’s office. They walk everywhere. It is a beautiful walk too, with big trees and neat yards.
We had a deadline to finish the project. This weekend is the Svensk Hyllningsfest celebration. It is a big one—there will be many visitors to Amy Kay’s store and they will be able to try on fairly traded clothing. The little town nestled in central Kansas farmland will close off Main Street and dance. Something they love to do.