September 19th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Wall Street runs through small-town square

The turmoil on Wall Street can be felt in the businesses around the town square in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This piece is part of a series of stories on how the issues are affecting Americans this election.
The turmoil on Wall Street can be felt in the businesses around the town square in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This piece is part of a series of stories on how the issues are affecting Americans this election.

ABOARD THE ELECTION EXPRESS BUS (CNN) - As the sun comes up over the town square in this rural borough of 18,000 people, you could be excused for thinking, at least for a moment, that the American economy is at its robust peak.

The traffic running through downtown Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, jogs to the right as it passes the five-tiered Memorial Fountain, while the fountain's streams of water glisten like ropes of diamonds in the new light.

And that morning traffic is an endless succession of trucks and work vehicles bearing the names of companies and industrial concerns: Ganoe Paving. Edge Rubber. APR Plumbing and Heating Supply. Fisher Auto Parts. Cemco Construction.

The parade never stops. It looks like a promotional film for a nation boldly building - a nation self-assuredly going to work.

Yet if you walk the streets of the square during these schizophrenic national days - days when the economy has seemingly gone berserk, when nothing appears to make sense - and if you enter the front doors of the businesses, you begin to understand how the glowing, nonsensical numbers dancing on Wall Street computer screens have landed with a thud in Chambersburg, and have brought with them icicles of fear, the kind that men and women who run small businesses can feel in their stomachs.

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Filed under: Bob Greene • Election Express • Ohio • Popular Posts
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Bandido

    Isn’t it funny how bad new is politicized, each side blaming the other. In this case however I think the Yuppie crowd who live way above their means in the million dollar homes are to blame. We find ourselves giving food to a family in our neighborhood because their kids are hungry but they get off the school bus and go to the biggest house on the block. You know the one where the electric is shut off every other month. We all over extend ourselves on credit cards now and then but it’s a whole other story to lease the big Mercedes while your kids go hungry. Get real America, the politicians didn’t do this to us we did it to ourselves. The greed of decades past has come home to roost along with Reverend Wright’s chickens.

    September 20, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
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