I felt some deep down feelings of both nostalgia and sadness at the Hillsboro City Council meeting on Monday night when the discussion centered around the inevitable demolition of the buildings that formerly housed Greg’s Quality Market and before than Bud’s Quality Market.
When we moved here in 1989, it was like a magic step into a small town life that I had always admired. In fact, our first friend in town, Dave Sterba, once branded me as a rural person trapped in a city body!
He and Mary were then, and still are, neighbors at home and neighbors at work, but more than that, they pegged us perfectly. And, we learned from them what it was like to enjoy this kind of small town existence for an entire life.
Back then, we were thrilled and impressed with the continual folksy attitude of all those we met. While I was driving in the countryside with Dave one day, I asked, “How long do you have to live here before you take the spectacular scenery for granted?”
Those of you who know Dave won’t be surprised that he answered, “What spectacular scenery?"
One of the things back then I really enjoyed was a daily trip across the street from the office to “Bud’s” to pick up some lunch. It always beat the heck out of pulling into a drive through in Chicago, mainly because it wasn’t just a customer stop to pick up some food.
It was a visit for a friendly chat with Bud Hofmeister, and the shopping was a secondary condition!
I probably spent more money in that deli than anywhere else in town, and enjoyed every folksy minute of shopping there.
After Bud retired, it seemed that the food and the atmosphere were both retained by the new owner, Greg Helgerson, who was a culinary whiz kid when it came to special sandwiches. You name the ingredients, any ingredients, and he would present you with a delicacy!
When our former ad salesman, Scott Hughes, spent his entry level years with the Sentry, before moving on to Eau Claire, where he become a highly successful newspaper baron of the sports car racing world, he also was a big fan of the lunch “palace” right across the street.
One day he rattled off a string of ingredients that were so surprising to Greg, and so tasteful, he named it the “Sentry Enterprise Sandwich,” and featured it in his show case. I enjoyed many lunches dining on that sandwich specialty, so skillfully prepared.
Trust me, you don’t get that kind of thing in Chicago.
After the Council meeting Monday night, I drove over and parked my car in front of the office, and focused on those buildings across the street. It practically brought tears to my eyes.
I could see myself and many other Sentry employees from the past running over to grab some chili, and maybe a Sentry Sandwich to bring back to our desks.
Those buildings may not look like much now, but for many folks in town they still have plenty of warm memories to offer.....and right now they’re all “on sale” with an extra helping of nostalgia on the side!