As bad as last summer was for nearly all business and personal endeavors, it looks like this summer is set to be a complete turn of fortune for our country and the lakes region. Frankly, we have earned the right to have our lives and livelihoods back. To kick up our heels a bit. And what a welcome sight it will be.

Summerfest is back this year. Lake tourism is open and ready for business, as are restaurants, taverns, concert venues, back yard barbecues, graduation celebrations, weddings, ball games, fireworks and family reunions. Let’s do all these things with freedom and without fear. Remember what it was like to hug your grandparents, cousins and in-laws? Let’s do that too. Have a block party with the neighborhood and send your kids out to play. You earned it and you deserve every moment.

While you go back to living this summer, I only ask one thing. Support the local area businesses who struggled as much, if not more than the rest of us. Amazon will be just fine without your business for a while, trust me. We all need to patronize places like Jaegers, Olson’s and Fergus Falls Home and Hardware; Lundeen’s, Cooper’s and Liberty Business Systems. Don’t forget Socials, Mable Murphy’s, Steel Wheels and The Viking Café. Local watering holes like Outstate Brewing Co., the Vet’s club and the American Legion. Rekindle long held friendships, swap old stories and have some fun. Instead of ordering everything under the sun for next day delivery, take a nice drive and take some time to shop around. These business owners are our friends and neighbors. Folks with whom we share lunch counters, church pews and bleacher seats. We need them to provide the unique goods and services they offer. They need our business to survive. To pay taxes that support our schools, police and fire protection, road work, and on and on.

Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon is worth $189.2 billion dollars. That’s billion with a large capital B. And of that stack of C-notes that would stretch to infinity (and back), you know what he contributes to our local economy? Nothing. Zippo. Nada. Squadoosh. Bupkiss. Remember this fact this summer.

We are about to experience a Summer of rebirth and rejuvenation right along with Mother Nature in this gorgeous area we are grateful to call home. Enjoy the experiences we are blessed with every day. This is a summer like no other. Let’s work together to make it great for everyone. We have earned it. Have one for me.


Sean Lewis is the advertising manager of for the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.

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