Word Wednesday: Local, Be Local

Local

Lo-cal

Adjective.

  1. Pertaining to, a city, town or small district rather than an entire state or country.

Local

When I was a kid, we went to Nagel’s gas station. We’d pull up to the pump. Our pulling up to the pump prompted the ringing of a bell that went off in Nagel’s garage. And Mr. Nagel would come out of the garage reaching for the rag from his pocket wiping the grease from his hands as he approached our car. Mr. Nagel would “fill ‘er up”.  He’d clean the windshield and some days check the oil. But every time we stopped at Nagel’s, Mr. Nagel would visit with our family.  He knew us by name, and we knew him. We knew his sons too because we all went to school together. He knew our car…maybe because he’d checked and changed the oil so many times…and he always knew how to fix it. When my dad would tell Mr. Nagel about some weird noise it was making, or some tug or pull my dad would try to explain, or a smell coming from the hood…Mr. Nagel knew what to do. Getting gas at Nagel’s wasn’t just getting gas…it was a thing…a visit…a something more than a car’s  “fill ‘er up”.

IMG_5382

Local

Nagel’s gas station was local. A local business, a local feeling. I remember lots of local in Orland Park…

Mr. Ed’s grocery store, Hawkins, Orland State Bank, and  Kosnar’s Drugs.

Places I remember going to when I was a kid. Places where the shop owners recognized us, knew us and we knew them, places where we shopped and visited and connected.

What was local is mostly memories.  Local is harder today. With rent prices and start-up costs, competition and risk it’s hard to start a local business. And for those small local businesses, because of the competition of big box stores chains, and online businesses, it’s hard for the small local business to stay in business.  

You don’t find it everywhere, but it still exists,  it’s still possible…the feeling those businesses of my memories evoked…

Some might call it good customer service but it’s more than that. It’s more than friendly, prompt service. It’s local.

Local is why in a pinch we might have stopped somewhere to put $5 worth of gas in the gas tank but only went to Nagel’s to “fill ‘er up”. Because stopping at Nagel’s was more than getting gas. And today, you might not come across it as often as used to…but you know local when you feel it…

Julie at Bob Davis’ office who calls me to remind me my car insurance is coming due but we stay on the phone and catch up some. Julie’s local.

Dr. Vaishnav, best pediatrician ever. Hated when my kids were sick but I loved seeing her…being with Dr. Vaishnav always made my sick kids feel better, made me feel good too. Dr. Vaishnav’s local.

Thimbles in Lockport where they don’t just sell fabric but visit and dive deep into whatever project you’re working on. Thimbles is local.

Jamie Corso of Tri-K Builders, he’s a great builder and cares as much about his customers as he does the houses he builds. Jamie’s local.

Even Starbucks is local when Cindy is working. Cindy can make a morning more pleasant, give a good start to a morning quicker than the drive-through line moves. 

It’s the feeling of familiarity and knowing someone cares. It’s comfort and mutual regard, friendly, trustworthy and personal.  Where the transaction allows the opportunity for connection.

It’s where your gas tank isn’t just filled, but you’re filled too. It’s a mutual feeling…it’s local.

Listing properties, showing houses selling real estate, that’s what we do. But if the Amy Curtis Group strives to be anything, we strive to be that kind of local.

If we can be of help with anything we’re happy to do it. Give us a holler…we’re local.

P.S. I called Dan Nagel yesterday.  Dan owns Nagel’s Auto Service in Orland Park. Called him with an odd request…I asked him if he had a photo of his dad and the gas station. Dan knew who I was, and he sent me the photo. Warms my heart that Nagel’s is still around…warms it even more that they’re still local.

Leave a Reply