Monday, September 1, 2014

Zimmy's: We're all in this together

As the summer season comes to a close, I look back at all of the fun one was able to pack into three short months and also the many fabulous things I witnessed happening back in my dear hometown of Hibbing. The showcase of the summer seemed to be the beautiful execution of the Hibbing All Class Reunion.

 Although I was not able to be there—as I spent my precious vacation days on Side Lake time over the 4th of July—I was delighted to see all of the excitement and fun reflected in my Facebook feed.  It looked like a lot of fun was had by people of all ages and that there was plenty of Hibbing pride to go around.  As a former band geek, I particularly enjoyed seeing the many, many videos of the Hibbing alumni band under the direction of the esteemed Art Hill that were circulating around the interwebs.  Brought back many good memories of summer band practice in the Memorial Building parking lot and marching down 7th avenue.

And yet, with all the happiness, something was missing.

There was a bit of a gaping hole in the festivities and in my Hibbing experience the few times I was able to visit this summer.


The fabulous bar & restaurant and unofficial Bob Dylan museum was silent and empty.

Now, some may say that these things happen.  Times are tough.  Businesses close.  But everyone has those kind of places in one’s hometown that create the foundation of a place, I have to say that Zimmy’s was a little bit of that for me.  It was someplace that honored the roots of Hibbing (via the historic building and telling the story of its various incarnations) and yet at the same time pushed forward with new and different ideas (sushi night and art classes offered through Community Ed).  It was the place where I had a good-bye meal with my family before I left for the adventure of grad school in Florida.  It was the place where I would meet friends from out of town for dinner and drinks.  It was the place where I enjoyed all kinds of music and fashion shows.

Picture of Zimmy's interior as captured in December 2009, before I left for my Florida grad school adventure.  

Zimmy’s was a place whose owners were quite generous with their time, their stories, and other things.

I remember one day, a couple summers back, when I was in town working Sidewalk Sales at my sister’s store.  It was one of those long, hot days (open something like 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).  Running back and forth, keeping racks filled, ringing up purchases. . .I was happy, but admittedly a little exhausted.  At that moment, Linda (one of the Zimmy’s owners) stopped in with some funnel cake straws—a fun new dessert at the time, which she knew we enjoyed.  It was really kind of her to stop by with that food, but beyond that to offer the kind of emotional support that said—we’re all in this together.

A big part of the reason I started this blog was to offer some kind of support, a place for a rallying cry, for the small business community of Hibbing.  It’s the kind of support that Linda and Zimmy’s gave naturally whether through hosting events, collaborating with other local businesses, or just being an encouraging presence.

It’s the kind of place and the kind of people that Hibbing needs, at least my Hibbing does.  And for that reason, I am going over to the Indiegogo page that has been set up to raise money for Zimmy’s revival.  If Zimmy’s has been that kind of special place for you, I’d encourage you to do the same.

There are 11 days left in the campaign and a lot of money left to raise, if we would like to see Zimmy’s rise again; but I’ve always been a fan of the long shot.  Sometimes we just have to do what we can, with what we have.  The fact is I live in Iowa and can get consumed by my life here, but I can write this blog post and I can give some money.

What can you do?

After all, we’re all in this together.

1 comment:

  1. After a two year hiatus, I'm glad to see you're back writing your blog. I enjoy reading about my hometown, so near and dear to my heart. The All-Class Reunion was certainly wonderful, but something was missing with Zimmy's being closed. Yes, Hibbing has other eateries that are nice, but my family and I miss Zimmy's. It wasn't just a place to eat, it was a place to catch up with old friends, see people you haven't seen in years, and marvel at the Dylan memorabilia. And back in May, Dylan Days just fizzled without Zimmy's. I hope they can recover, and I hope you continue writing your blog without the 2 year gaps!