I kind of thought Merenda was going to close for about a year, now. Not because I had any inside knowledge, or because I thought it was too big (which I did) but from Denton's own words.
I belong to a couple of business bulletin boards, with store owners only as members. And when you hear an owner start to talk a certain way....it seems like it's always the beginning of the end. I can't quite pin it down. It's not just that they're negative, there is a sort of disillusioned tone, a kind of 'put off' tone. But you know it when you hear it.
Denton may not have fully known it himself, but it was evident to me from the tone and texture of what he was saying in newspaper interviews. There is a certain way a business speaker says things when they're losing their motivation. You can tell they are preparing themselves for the inevitable.
O.K. Smart ass.
It's all well and good to proclaim that you predicted something. "Yeah, yeah, Dunc. You're always right. Blah."
But if you have a two year running blog, you can actually point at what you said.
Two other predictions.
There were two particular predictions I made that everyone seemed to think dubious -- even more dubious than that housing prices were a bubble and would pop.
The rich don't hang around.
One was that rich people would be the last to come to a 'failing' town, and the first to leave.
If you look at the much reduced 'median' prices of houses in this town, I don't see how you can't come to the conclusion that the rich aren't buying the expensive houses. They might be waiting. Or they might not show up at all. In fact, I still predict they'll vacate this town like it's yesterday's news.
No longer growing?
The second prediction was that Bend would actually lose population. Again, it's hard to see how you can go from #1949 building permits in 2005 to #268 in 2008, and not see a outflow of labor. Not only the houses that aren't being built, but all those people who serviced and furnished those houses.
Losing 100 students since the start of the school year would be some proof of that.
I think the emigrants are just beginning.
Yep, emigrants, not immigrants.
Me and Jimmy Carter.
Cause we don't have the jobs. Malaise is a killer. Hard to be a popular town when malaise sets in. I admit, I'm not out and about town at night much, but the traffic last night was sparse.
This is starting to remind me of the good, bad old days.
Or is it, the bad, good old days?
Like I said, you know it when you see it.
5 days ago