I DON’T KNOW QUITE HOW to describe East Ellsworth. It’s not a separate town of its own, as far as I can determine, but the eastern side of Ellsworth, Wisconsin.
East Ellsworth is heavy on the drinking establishments with at least four bars within a stone’s throw of each other. My husband and I didn’t venture inside any of them on the October weekday afternoon we visited this community. But plenty of vehicles lined the streets, causing us to wonder where all those folks might be. Inside the bars?
Not that that’s good or bad. I’m just saying that as outsiders viewing East Ellsworth for the first time, we got the sense that this could be a pretty wild place on a weekend evening or during a Sunday afternoon Packers game.
Words like rugged and hardscrabble pop into my thoughts.
We observed a business district that appeared rough around the edges. Grass wedged between spaces in the cracked and uneven sidewalk. Orange traffic barrels leaning. Pavement that looked more jigsaw puzzle than street. Aged buildings, some in need of paint touch-ups. The whole area appeared tired and worn.
I should clarify that this assessment should not be taken as harshly critical, simply as an honest reaction. First impressions can be powerful.
Even though my eyes noted the roughness, my spirit appreciates East Ellsworth. This place possesses small town Americana character. Strength of individuality, not found in cookie cutter chain businesses, exists here. I will take an East Ellsworth any day over a strip mall along a four-lane in Most Anywhere, USA.
How about you?
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling