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This blog is authored by Mark Hinesley, Chamber President/CEO
3 minutes reading time (589 words)

The Loss of Our Friend…

This is a very sad day for our community. For the last 35 years Garr’s has been a tremendous corporate citizen and a friend to all. Garr’s holds a special place in my heart as being the business where I made my first purchase upon moving into this city over 25 years ago. On the day I moved in I went to Garr’s to buy one of those curvy stakes you put into the ground to attach the dog leash to. Somehow the ones we had did not make it onto the moving truck. Personally, Garr’s has been there for me since day one.

Since that time and over the course of many, many years Garr’s has come to represent all that is so special about a locally owned and operated small business. The impact that this business has had on nearly every non-profit organization, school, church, and community event is immeasurable. Roy and his staff would gladly put our promotional messages on the board out front, donate items to our charity auctions, and provide his equipment for those bigger projects. Thanks to Garr’s, our community is dotted with more Purple Martin Houses than one can count and hundreds of children and their families are now professional “Scarecrow” makers having attended their annual Fall event at the store. Each year at Christmas time, Garr’s proudly erected (and put on display lining their rooftop for all to enjoy), a giant nativity scene for thousands to see during the Christmas Holidays.

Over the years countless young boys and girls, Scouts, Church and Civic Organizations, and many others were able to take a field trip and enjoy seeing baby chicks, birds, and other animals right in the middle of the store. There was usually a family of ducks or geese that called the large pond in front of the store home. One could even make the case that Garr’s was one of the original “big boxes” as they seemed to have about everything we needed. Garr’s was one of those places you could visit even if you really did not need anything. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to the feed store I remember while growing up in Bluffton, Indiana. It’s where I would go with my father and grandfather, the kind of place where the men could sit around, and maybe drink an orange pop (ice cold and in a bottle for about 5 cents!) from an old self-serve ice box. I even remember climbing up on a big bag of oats or something like that so I could be in the middle of the conversation.

Yes, this is a very sad day indeed. Gone? Perhaps, but in no way will they be forgotten. Just like my memories from many, many years ago, Mt Juliet is full of people who will also have fond memories of their feed store. I am certain that someday many years from now, somewhere, someone else will be writing a similar story remembering their old friends at Garr’s. It hasn’t even been a whole day and I already miss you.

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