Letter to the Editor by Jim Magner

To the Editor:

As a connoisseur of music of all genres, I can easily equate music titles to what’s happening in downtown Waukon. According to a favorite song by Cher, “If I Could Turn Back Time,” in the 1990s and early 2000s, Waukon boasted 20-plus restaurant (food serving) and liquor establishments within the city limits (Yes, I can name them). Combined, they all created a thriving day and night life (especially night) with downtown streets often left without available parking.

This led to Waukon becoming a destination town with the culmination being on St. Patrick’s Day. Young and old came from far and surrounding areas to eat, drink and be entertained.

But all good things come to an end and did so due to many unforeseen circumstances such as a slowdown in the economy, public attitude towards alcohol consumption, meal preparation and partying at home, a number of major business fires and, to top it all off, a pandemic which forced people to isolate and become antisocial, all of which led to a dead or nearly ghost town-like downtown at night. During the summer of 2022, at 8 p.m. on a Sunday night downtown Waukon sported no open bar or food establishments.

Yes, it is nice to once again see a lively, diverse and active downtown both day and night. It is a welcome sight and my hat’s off to the new entrepreneurs of these venues. Two song titles that come to mind in regard to the new businesses downtown include “Up Town Girl” more recently recorded by Irish pop group Westlife and originally recorded by Billy Joel, and “Good Morning Starshine” by Oliver - look them up.

Also, while we are sharing praise, St. John’s Lutheran Church at 8 5th Street SW did an excellent job of landscaping and beautifying their church and grounds. Now it is very photogenic. Shop locally.

Jim Magner