Technically, it was still winter earlier this week around downtown Milledgeville.
It felt an awful lot like summer, however.
The large majority of college students already had left town and headed back to the ‘burbs, and plenty of parking was still available. There was still a decent amount of lunchtime traffic in the restaurants, despite the barrage of public warnings about mingling in large crowds.
On South Wayne Street, Crystal Bass Ivey was keeping her spirits high, despite a sudden nosedive in sales. Ivey opened Southern Roots clothing boutique on March 6. Her grand opening was a hit, and business was solid. Then, suddenly, it was crickets.
“I feel as if God wouldn’t have opened these doors for me if he didn’t want me to be here,” said Ivey, folding tee shirts while her 7-year-old son played on the floor, out of school and clearly bored. “I am counting my blessings right now and trying my best to stay positive.”
Ironically, Ivey previously worked in the medical profession and was an X-ray technician at Navicent Health Baldwin. Now, as the hospital is preparing for the unknown, Ivey also is preparing for the unknown.
One person’s crisis, however, is the next person’s opportunity. This was evident three doors down from Ivey’s boutique, where Bayne’s Army Store was experiencing record sales.
“We’ve never seen anything like it in such a short timeframe,” said co-owner Victor Bayne. “Never.”
Only the elections of the last two Democratic presidents – Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – could compare to the recent rush to buy firearms at Bayne’s, according to Bayne.
“Never anything like this, though,” Bayne said.