I'm not sure how many of you were around a year ago when we embarked on a mission to traverse around Enid and find things to do for a full 24 hours. It was quite the adventure.
Now that I've put some distance between now and then, it's given me better perspective on the lasting implications of that fateful event.
Over the course of those 24 hours, plus the weeks prior spent sweating out each detail, I developed a love and a passion for the local things in life.
It wasn't something that had ever been particularly important to me before. I never gave much thought to the difference between standardized, commercialized chains and the personable and unique touch only a local business owner can provide.
When I set out to plan 24 consecutive hours of activity in a city the size of Enid (i.e., small), I quickly realized there was no way to pull it off without the aid of local businesses. They were the most receptive to the idea and quick to welcome a small clan of visitors into their establishments. We even had one restaurant open their doors on their day off just to host us.
There were plenty of other standout moments that occurred during those 24 hours, such as...
- Performing music and poetry at a local artists' gallery
- Getting a straight razor shave from a newly opened barber shop
- Chilling on the couch of a local gifts boutique
- Getting coffee after-hours at a local cafe
- Being first-in-line for donuts as the owners open up their shop
And a myriad of other charades that would never have been possible without the cooperation of local business owners.
It gave me a newfound respect and love for supporting the local community. I try my best to continue that wherever I go. Whether it's here in the South Valley of Albuquerque or traveling across town or across state lines, I try to keep it local as often as possible. Whether it's a restaurant or cafe or venue or store, I find the experience is often better and richer when you choose to stay local.
Anyway, that's what 24 hours in Enid taught me. I hope those of you that were a part of the event took something out of it as well. You also might remember some of these pictures I was able to dig up.