Rey, Becca, Dave, Anne and I toured the Soo today. We all squeezed into Rey’s Toyota Corolla, which is a rental. His regular car is also a Corolla, but that car is under recall for the Takata exploding passenger airbag problem that I just got Dave’s Corolla fixed for. Rey’s is a much newer model than Dave’s and as such the wait for parts is much longer, at least six months in Rey’s case. At first Toyota just advised Rey not to seat anyone in the front passenger seat, but eventually, Rey had to drive four people, so he complained to Toyota about that. They offered him a rent-a-car, for free, which he’ll likely keep through the end of the year. Such a deal! I guess that this is Toyota’s reaction to all of the bad press that they experienced a few years ago. Takata just filed for bankruptcy protection last week, so there is no telling how that might affect the schedule for airbag replacements. Rey may be keeping the rental even longer?
Anyway, we all went to town. Our first stop was the Happy Hooker, a yarn and fabric store. Both Anne and Becca like to knit. It turns out that the store is going out of business this month, because the proprietors are retiring. Consequently, everything in the store was considerably marked down. The girls had a field day there. Afterwards, we went to Penny’s Kitchen again. Earlier this week, after laundry, when we had originally gone to Penny’s, we knew that we would likely be returning there soon. That’s OK. Penny’s has a large menu and it’s all good.
After lunch, we toured the locks, but no boats, except of course for a tour boat. Rey checked out the Shipwreck annex and we all did tourist row, along Portage, then walked up Ashman and back to Penney’s and the car. Every year there are more and more vacant storefronts along Ashman. A sign of the continual decline of small town America. Between Amazon and Walmart, it is harder and harder to make a living out in the country.