Vision of Dad's

Joshua Young and Maria Paige stand in front of their new retail store on the outskirts of town. Photo by Stan Schwartz

Outdoor movies are in the works, too

BOWLING GREEN—Local couple, Joshua W. Young and Maria Paige, recently started a new retail business to honor Joshua’s Dad, Francis Young.

Located on the property, which has been in the Young family since 1984, the store opened for business the week of the Pike County Fair.

They couple also allow some outside vendors to set up on the property close to their store.

Joshua said his father was well known for his collection of stuff.

“Most people in town know his name,” Joshua said. “He was always the guy that would go to auctions and buy stuff and then go to Wentzville and sell stuff from time to time. He loved the flea markets.” A friend of Francis was an auctioneer, Joshua added and Francis would help him out, as well.

“He always had a thing about wanting to build a resale shop on his property after he retired. For whatever reason, it just never got done,” Joshua said, and that’s how they came up with the store’s name: Vision of Dad’s Resale and Stuff. They are located along Bus. Hwy. 61 at 15675, just across the road from the airport. 

Facebook came along with its buy, sell and trade feature, Joshua explained, “where you can just set on your couch and sell stuff if you want.” That put opening a store pretty low on Francis’ priority list.

But last year, Francis’ time on this earth came to an end. Joshua, who was eager to talk about the new store and his father, had to take a minute as the memory of his Dad’s passing swept over him. He died last August.

The store is monument to his father’s legacy for Joshua. “I wanted to do something for him,” he added. “I always thought of it as he vision.”

And that’s where Maria comes in. She’s studied marketing and business management. She put together a business plan for the store.

Maria knows that a retail shop is sometimes not the best way to make a living, especially positioned as it is outside of town. The store is filled with items, some new some old, some antiques some designed to look like antiques.

“We’ve been thinking of other ways to sustain the business and keep up payments on the shop,” she said. And looking at the property, she saw that they had a natural amphitheater that sloped down away from the house to the line of trees that front the property along Bus. 61. She thought it would make a great outdoor movie venue for families.

Maria contacted Jump-A-Roo’s Bounce House Rentals in Vandalia and learned she could rent a 27-foot inflatable screen, along with a portable projector and sound system.

People can social distance by spreading out along the hillsides, she said. “They can wear masks if they want, or not,” she added.

They can bring their own blankets and chairs, as well as coolers and snack foods. Maria said they would have some sodas and chips for sale at the store, but would ask people to refrain from brining alcohol because she and Joshua want this to be a family-style gathering. In addition to food and drinks, they suggest people bring bug spray. “This is the outdoors,” she said. There may also be a few vendors set up for movie night.

Their first try at the outdoor film didn’t quite work out. It was the week of the Pike County Fair and they got rained out.

So, on Saturday, Aug. 22, starting at 7 p.m., they are going to try for their first double feature. The first movie is a family favorite, “How to Train Your Dragon: A Hidden World” the third in the series, and the second film is the R-rated feature “Bad Boys for Life.” After the first movie, those with younger children can head on home, or stay if their little ones have fallen asleep, she said.

She said she thought it would bring back some fond memories for those folks who remember going to drive-in theaters. Maria said people have asked her about being able to sit in their cars and watch the movies. She noted that the parking area is not really in the best position for viewing the screen. From where the cars would be, most of screen would not be visible. She noted that it would probably be a good idea to call ahead or check the store’s Facebook page to keep tabs on whether or not the movie gets called on account of the weather or if they reach capacity. She would like to limit the movies to about 25 families.

A designated smoking area has been set up away from the viewing area. And there is a Port-A-Potty on site.

They plan to run family movie nights through the end of October, when the weather would probably be too cold for people to sit outside. Weather permitting,  they want to do them every-other weekend.

Maria said she would have loved to run the movies for free, but she and Joshua have to rent the equipment, so they are asking for a small donation to help offset those costs.

In addition to the movies, Maria said they want to open a winter wonderland around Christmas time. “We would have hot coco and pictures with Santa,” she said.

Joshua said that in addition to the store building they have an Army style mess tent that they can set up for the winter wonderland.

She noted that they also have a flea market on weekend. Joshua added that they are still trying to attract vendors for that market.

“Because we’re so far out and so new,” Maria said, “we only have a few, but they’re steadfast and come every weekend and set their booths up.”

She said they want to put the community back into community living by providing events that families can come to together. She also believes that community merchants should work to help each other, which is why she went to Vandalia for the screen and projector, and why she reached out to local vendors to come and set up on the property.

“I’m trying to incorporate the Amish, too,” she said. “I’d like to get in touch with them to see if they would like to bring their ice cream out for the weekend, or even some of their vendors.”

Rental space is fairly inexpensive, she added. Thursdays are free for vendors and Friday and Saturday is just $10.

Even though Francis wasn’t there to see the store open, he made the sign that Joshua put out by the road to let people know about the new shop. Francis, Joshua said, would put items out there for sale, because it was a good location just off the highway.

“We like to say that he’s always there with it,” Joshua said. His aunt took some of the clothes Francis had worn and made them into a memory bear. They put the last hat Francis ever wore on that bear and set him up on the shelf overlooking the shop.

Business since they opened has been sporadic, the couple said. They’re hoping that as time goes on and more people learn about their shop and the other events they have planned, business would improve.

In addition to working at the shop, Joshua also works for a Bowling Green flooring company, Ligon’s Flooring, part time and another part time job at Skaggs Tree Service outside of Elsberry.

Maria, who is disabled, spends most of her time at the shop. She likes doing fun things for her birthday, which is in mid-October. For that night, she wants to screen one of her favorite movies, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” where she would encourage people to dress up. Two weeks later for Halloween, she wants to kids movie early and then later when the children are gone, do another double feature with some of the classic scary movies—the original “Halloween” and the original “Friday the 13th.” Along with the movies they would have a big bonfire so people could cook hot dogs and marshmallows.

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