To the Editor:
About five years ago, we traveled through northwest Missouri, sightseeing and genealogy searching. On our travels, we went looking for breakfast one morning in LaGrange, Mo., a small river town.
As we were looking or a restaurant, we couldn't help but notice that every storefront was full, and most garages along main street had some type of business being run out of them, such as lawn mower repair or sharpening service. The family-run café was friendly and the food delicious.
Two weeks ago, we had occasion to return to the area and wanted to again breakfast at that wonderful café. As we neared the town, the first thing we noticed were signs for the Mark Twain Casino, which was prominent as we entered LaGrange.
Driving to the restaurant, you couldn't help but feel the sadness. Not only was the café closed, but every building on the street now stands empty! The only business to survive the "increase in local business" a gambling house brings was the Casey's, because the casino does not sell gasoline.
If you think your café will thrive with an influx of customers, their meal prices are lower! If you think your motel business will increase, theirs is cut-rate. If you think your business or town will see any gain because of a riverboat, please visit LaGrange.
A beautiful small town is now dead. Do we really want to sacrifice Riverside in the mistaken name of "entertainment"?
Rev. Lynn Patrick