I came across this article in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune that nearly perfectly juxtaposed the old world that seems to be falling away quickly with the new world that has arrived.
The story is about the closing of a once-successful Chicago dairy — McDonald’s was a customer, buying supplies for its milkshakes — that fell victim to the classic economic squeeze play of oversupply, low demand and the resulting low prices. With the Elgin Dairy’s closing, there is now only a single dairy in the city limits of Chicago. An era that is almost over, indeed, considering that a little more than 50 years ago, there were more than 150 dairies in the city, according to the article.
Buried deep within the article was a reference to what the owners (two brothers) did when they were winding up the business a few weeks ago:
“When we processed the last gallon, I just went up on Facebook and put up an update and said ‘last gallon processed,’ ” Jim Gignac said. A little while later, a friend posted a photo of himself with one of the last Elgin milkshakes.
In more than a few ways, a remarkable occurrence. The number of small businesses with a presence on Facebook is growing, but still very low considering how many there are in this country. That a soon-to-be-shuttered business would think that one of its last acts was worthy of memorializing on Facebook is nothing less than surprising still, if only for its uniqueness. The obvious question is how long will it be before neither instance will be all that unusual.
It seems the ancient wisdom is still correct: Nothing endures but change.