Senior Spotlight: Missing the ‘old’ Craig
Easter Sunday dawned clear and cold but what a beautiful day for the Easter service outside, even though all those attending felt the full force of the wind and blankets and wraps were handed out to keep out the cold. After going to breakfast, the “Easter Bunny” came by and left some candy. We colored eggs, made decorations and then people started going out to spend the day with their families. My daughter picked me up and we went to Craig to have lunch and visit with our family. It made for a nice day but also made me realize a few things.
As we drove into and through town I realized how much I missed living in Craig, but then I thought about it and it seemed like I missed living in the Craig I used to know. We moved here in the fall of 1965 and the town of Craig then was quite a bit different than it is now. It was quite the little town, with three drug stores, a Ben Franklins, Montgomery Wards, JC Penny’s, Gambles, two cafes, three bars, a shoe store, ladies dress shop, two jewelry stores, the Armory, a small grocery store on the corner and many other businesses all on either Yampa or Victory. The West Theater was where it is now but there was also a drive-in movie on the east end of town and the B&B drive-in. One of the biggest buildings was the Cosgriff Motel, which also had a restaurant and bar and was a popular place to go for dinner or to have although Signal Hill restaurant and bar gave it a run for its money as far as parties went.
Since then the post office was moved, Safeway’s moved and then closed, there is a park downtown where two businesses used to be, banks have moved or changed names, Tastee Freeze turned into A&W and now is a dentist office, the Country Mall burned and now there is only an empty lot. Craig Conoco is the only one true “gas station” left, and now we have convenience store-gas stations with no service, just convenience.
Although there are still great shops downtown now, I miss the activity of downtown back then, being able to go from store to store shopping, visiting and the feeling of the community hustle and bustle that was a part of it all. The city limits have grown but Craig was more connected then. The people of Craig are and have always been generous and step up when help is needed but it seems that the feeling of a small town togetherness has been lost a little with the loss of a central business district downtown, it seemed more of a community as one. Maybe it’s just in the way I see things, but the tone of the town has changed and the “good holidays” of Craig that I remember are ones that I will always treasure.
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