Just briefly on our off day here (we typically post Monday, Wednesday and Friday) I wanted to relay a story from this past weekend that will shed some light on the value of local businesses.

I have the honor of speaking at an upcoming TED event. My presentation was lacking one slide; a historical photo of the park in my hometown. I was aware of this photo because it was hanging in the local pizza shop (Rafferty's pizza for all you locals). I looked all over the state historical society's archives but could not find a copy of this photo.

Desperate for this key image, I went to the pizza shop to see if they would lend it to me to scan. Not only did they happily do so without asking anything of me in terms of collattoral, the frame was screwed into the wall (not just hanging but physically attached) and they took their time to find a screwdriver and take it down. In the process, the screw was stripped and bent making remounting difficult.

After doing my scan, I decided to see if I could get the screw fixed for them. I was going to go to the local hardware store (Ace Hardware, again for you locals) and see if I could buy a pliers and some new screws. When I walked in, someone working there asked me if they could help. I explained what was wrong and they grabbed someone else with more experience. He took my frame to the back room, pulled out the screw, went to the bin with the screws and gave me a new one. I told him I'd be happy to pay and he just smiled and said it was no big deal.

As I was leaving, he said, "Come back again sometime." I will. This is an experience you are never going to get at one of the local big boxes or chain restaurants.