Good neighbor makes tough time easier during difficulty

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Ed LaBruyere looks on as Kathy Ray, manager of Café on Main, talks with Brent Cooley, City Building Official, center, and Roger Shows of Roger Shows Masonary about the structural integrity of the building after a section of the back wall started to collapse Tuesday morning. Until the wall has been repaired, Café on Main will operate out of The Vault on Main Street. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Ed LaBruyere looks on as Kathy Ray, manager of Café on Main, talks with Brent Cooley, City Building Official, center, and Roger Shows of Roger Shows Masonary about the structural integrity of the building after a section of the back wall started to collapse Tuesday morning. Until the wall has been repaired, Café on Main will operate out of The Vault on Main Street. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald

When things get a little rough, good friends and neighbors come a’running. In one small stretch of businesses on Main Street in downtown Minden, it didn’t take long for a very good neighbor to open her doors to others who faced difficulty.

When large cracks opened along the back wall of the building at 615 Main creating a dangerous situation for the two businesses operating there, Maranda Thompson immediately offered the occupants of the building space in her store located just down the street.

“Giving someone help when they’re in trouble is what we’re supposed to do,” Thompson said. “Besides, they’re my business neighbors and friends, and we help each other.”

“I don’t know what we would have done if Maranda had not come forward,” said Kathy Ray, manager of the Café on Main, located in the damaged building. “She opened her doors to us and saved us a lot of money and heartache.”
Ray and a crew of workers moved café furnishings and kitchen equipment and appliances, including a refrigerator filled with foodstuff, to The Vault, located a couple of doors down the street at 619 Main. Because of Thompson’s generosity, Café on Main won’t be closed indefinitely.

“We will open as soon as we can,” Angela Gamble, owner of Café on Main said. “Because Maranda is such a good neighbor, we may not open tomorrow (Wednesday) but we will be open for business most likely later this week.”

Gamble said the café will still offer soup, sandwiches and salads but may have to hold off on the daily Blue Plate Special for a while. The business usually opens seven days a week, “…but we may consider not opening on Sunday. We definitely will be open Monday through Saturday, though, thanks to Maranda.”

Thompson’s good neighbor attitude will also help Evergreen Life Services continue its fund-generating activities through Timeless Antiques and Collectibles, which is located in the front portion of 615 Main.

“We’re moving some of the items to The Vault, and the individuals who have placed items on consignment may do the same or take them home until the work here is completed,” Lisa Hamilton, director for Evergreen Life Services, said.

Sam Ellington has several antique pieces on consignment at Timeless. She was in the process of moving some to The Vault, others to Possibilities (another Evergreen-run business) and still others were being loaded into her vehicle.

“There are some very valuable pieces, plus there’s lots of glassware to be moved,” she said. “We could have covered some of it and left it up front since the work on the building will be in the back, but I just didn’t want to take the chance. It’s very generous of Maranda to let us move some items down there.”

Thompson said The Vault, along with the two which will now be sharing space with her, have something more in common than just being business neighbors.

“These buildings are all about 125 years old, the oldest in Minden,” she said. “We’re like a family along this section of Main Street and families stick together when there’s trouble. There’s no way I would not have given them space here.”

“Maranda is the epitome of what it means to be a good neighbor,” Ray added. “She didn’t hesitate to let us come into her store with our equipment. Because of her, we will still be able to run our business.”

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