A woman with glasses and brown hair.


Living in the small town of Bonifay suits this old lady just fine. I have met two newcomers recently who expect to love living here and I told them they have the right attitude to love it. 

True, almost all the downtown businesses are gone but we have a lot to meet our everyday needs. First, we have a full contingent of dollar stores.  Go north, south, or west and count them. We have five dollar stores. 

We have two local drug stores with pharmacists whose names we know and they know ours. Two hardware stores have employees that we’ve known all their lives and they will help you find what you are looking for.  

In addition, they will give you a phone number for a plumber, a builder, an appliance repairman or any other repairman you are in need of.

We have a tire repair or sales shop or two or three.  When my light comes on to check tire pressure I pull into Son’s and without getting out of my car, someone says, ‘We’ll be with you in just a few minutes.’ And they are. 

A while back when my car hadn’t been driven for about a week, the battery wouldn’t crank.  With a neighbor’s jump it cranked right away but a few weeks later I stopped to pick up lunch at Cancun’s and while waiting for my order, I was talking to a friend.  

When my order was complete, my car wouldn’t crank. She jumped me off. I went straight to Clouds. Within less than half an hour, I had a new battery and went home and ate my take out lunch while it was still hot. Where but in Bonifay?

Recently, I had the wild hair to buy all the girls in my family matching lounge pants alike since the Rose’s dollar store had such a plentiful supply (and the price was right). However, they didn’t have the number I needed (seven), so I decided to look in Chipley.  

Traffic was awful on 77.  There was no Roses dollar store. Walmart had a ton of similar styles but no match for what I have and the price was twice as high as Bonifay’s. I am holding what I’ve got and hoping some more are delivered.

While I was in Walmart, there were a few things I could have picked up but the idea of standing in line to be checked or self-checking didn’t appeal to me at all, so I said to myself, ‘Get on back to Piggly Wiggly in Bonifay and get what you need .’  

I walked out of Wally World empty-handed after circling their parking lot twice looking for a close-in parking place. Handicap placards were out in full force. Believe me, I checked them.

What else do you need?  A good hospital or emergency room? It would take too long to tell you all the services provided by our Doctors Memorial. Do you know we have a robotic surgeon? You can get lab work there for your specialist in larger towns. Our physical therapy and swing bed department are second to none. Check the web site to find all the services offered there. 

We are even running a mobile clinic to Bethlehem and Ponce de Leon to bring medical services to those areas with plans for other areas of Holmes County. A cousin told me last week she is getting treatments in Panama City for an immune deficiency disorder and he is now coming to Bonifay to administer a specialized treatment.

There is no limit to beauty shops and a barber shop occupies the historic Adams Barber Shop, formerly known as the Pharo Lewis Barber Shop where my uncle, Edward Harris, held forth delivering a sermon as well as all tonsorial niceties when I was a little girl. A farmer such as my daddy could get a shave and a haircut.  Showers were also available.

Bonifay has three good family restaurants, most of the quick food places, a donut shop widely known throughout the area. 

With the coming of the Busy Bee store  to South Waukesha Street on 79, downtown may never be restored to its former businesses but it is being beautified with Brandy Dowling Jordan’s outstanding murals.  

The Waukesha Way girls are working to bring life back to downtown.  Pepper Town Market in North Bonifay keeps expanding its business and the old high school/middle school holds several businesses. Don’t count Bonifay out yet. 

Whatever the future holds, I am glad I live here.  The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. 

Hazel Wells Tison is a columnist for Holmes County Advertiser. 

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