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EDITOR'S COLUMN: #PickPageland

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By Don Worthington

Are we Cinderella rushing to the ball or are we merely putting lipstick on a pig?
The chorus of naysayers say the latter. There is nothing you can do for Pageland. Its problems are deep rooted and even the enticement of a $1 million downtown makeover and exposure on a television reality show would be merely wasted money, they say.
When Pageland is compared to the other 19 finalists for the Small Business Revolution, we are a have not among the haves.
Other top 20 towns have scenic historic rivers, or towering mountains with purple majesty.
Other top 20 towns have universities and impressive downtown buildings that are architecturally and historically significant.
Other top 20 towns have thriving art communities, museums, or other attractions. They are established destinations.
For these towns, the glass is half, if not more, full. They have vibrancy. They are looking for the things that will make their community complete. That quest makes for good television.
In Pageland, we are drinking from a disposable plastic cup. Some are willing to throw the cup away.
Others want more. Pageland deserves more.
Pageland is the quintessential crossroads town.
Long ago, when George Washington was a young man looking to make his reputation on the frontier – it was then the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia – he described his location as “a place that has slightly thickened up.”
That’s the classic definition of most American small towns. Two roads met and the resulting crossroad just thickens up a bit, never getting any farther.
You’ve seen what happens when the thickening stops. Businesses close, windows are boarded over and buildings die from neglect.
Pageland deserves more.
What we offer to a reality show is authentic grit.
We have what every small town in America has  – the dreamers, the schemers, the optimists, the pessimists, the doers and the sideline quarterbacks.
We have many people who have one foot out the door, wanting to leave, and the other foot firmly planted here, wanting to keep what they cherish.
That’s #PickPageland.
Our last-minute social media campaign put Pageland in the Top 20 for the Small Business Revolution. We are the Cinderella pick.
Our queen is rushing to the ball, barefoot, wearing a pair of jeans torn by work, not by a machine, and a Watermelon Festival t-shirt. She is independent and hard working.
And that pig with lipstick?
Well, as any true Southerner knows, that’s merely breakfast, lunch or dinner in waiting.
Pass the ham, pass the biscuits, pass the pork chips, pass the barbeque.
Pass them all and #PickPageland.