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Clifton Main Street March 2022

  • March 13, 2022

Perhaps more often than we’d like to admit, our actions today are born of our yesterdays. Naturally, we act according to our experience.

Several years ago, when I accepted the position of Community Development and Main Street Director for the City of Clifton, I honestly wasn’t quite sure of all that the title entailed. The Main Street Program is an excellent teacher. Within weeks of accepting the position, I was meeting the incredible force of Texas Main Street and Texas Historical Commission staff and the statewide directors of programs that date to the 1980 genesis of Main Street in Texas. I’ve been happily immersed ever since in a fascinating, intertwining world of economics, preservation, marketing, and engagement.

IconDescription automatically generated Rewind to the Summer of 1980

While Anice Read, serving as the Texas Historical Commissioner, was introducing the Main Street program to Texas, I was getting a crash course in Community Development – Clifton style. That summer I worked at Colvert’s – the fountain side. Now for those of you who don’t date back to June 1980 in Clifton, Colvert’s Pharmacy is now Albrecht’s. Colvert’s had a little coffee and sandwich shop where the gift shop is today. And, along with a delicious tuna fish sandwich and chocolate shake, Colvert’s offered a course in Small Town Texas Civics. You see, Colvert’s was the gathering place of what my Daddy refers to as “The Brain Trust” of the local community. Stakeholders from across a spectrum of Clifton businesses and interests gathered daily, Monday through Friday — primarily at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. — to discuss whatever may be determined as the day’s Hot Topics.

IconDescription automatically generated FF to Spring of 2019

Landing in a position to coordinate community planning and projects, my first concern was to gain a deeper, broader insight into community needs, concerns, and lapses. What are we doing well? Where can we improve? What is the priority and, thus, where do we begin?

The Brain Trust.

In the Spring of 2019, I launched Perk Up! It’s a monthly mixer that invites everyone to the table (literally) to share ideas and encouragement in our favorite Clifton Main Street venues. Perk Up brings people from different backgrounds, ages, and interests together because they share concentric passions and goals. It’s a space – away from board and council meetings – for anyone to share a unique perspective that must be heard for better community planning and development.

We sit together at a common table and share ideas and concerns. And we come up with Solutions. We dream together. Collaborate. Share resources and experiences. Challenge and brainstorm. And together we achieve our goals.

It’s humbling how easy it can be. And thrilling. Because when you risk sharing your dream and admitting your limitations… you just may find an alliance of partners jumping at the chance to make dreams come true!