And it hurts to rip out those threads and sew in something new. I eyed the work on the square suspiciously, skeptical of how it would come out. Ask Tiffany Bourne, she whose vision gave birth to the square’s makeover. She heard me. I wanted to know where those tables had gone. Where are today’s teenagers supposed to eat their fast food with friends late at night like I had done?
Even the distinguished Mr. Cooper was in the wrong end of the square. It was almost like something out of “Gone With the Wind” — the quintessential Southern gentleman, feeling quite literally out of place, staring wistfully toward the south in memory of something beautiful that had once been but now was swept up in the immutable maelstrom of time.
Time, however, changes minds as well as the physical. The more I got used to the way the square looked now, the more I saw it for what it is: the perfect incarnation of community evolution.
After all, it certainly isn’t the first change for the square’s appearance. Far from it. What was a park in the 19th century gained a fountain in 1908; in 1963, Sen. Cooper himself helped usher in the era of the Fountain Square to which I was familiar.
Each generation has had its version of the downtown Fountain Square. I had mine; those to come after me will have this one. And then, someday, they too will have to move over and accept another likely change to benefit those who are not yet even a twinkle in one’s eye.
We’ve seen a lot of change here over the years — a lot of which I’ve felt was actually needed. After all, it’s hard to be resistant to change when it produces a positive effect: new jobs, new opportunities, new liberties and choices. Some of these changes have been very difficult for others, older generations who were used to a certain way of doing things, born of deeply-held convictions.