Why is it out with the old in with the new?

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, January 3, 2023

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Ensley Fairfield Mattress Co. is closing its doors after over 100 years in business. I was sad to hear this news as it seems everywhere with a history and legacy is often replaced and renovated to fit a more new and modern style.

I used to feel that constant renovations and changes were necessary in order to make a facility successful, but I have come to appreciate the age of things.

I often hear my parents talk about different stores, movies, styles and more of their time in the 80s and growing up. With all the new and improved renovations, something I worry I won’t have the same.

My college dormitory where I spent some of my favorite days of my life has been torn down in place of a new and improved shiny building, but not everything that glimmers and shines is better. Sometimes dust and dirt tell more of a story than the glamor.

I miss my dorm and I fear missing all the places that I grew up with. I believe we should appreciate the old and more rustic parts of Shelby County and not always be looking for the next thing.

“While we are celebrating our third generation retiring, at the same time we are sad that another iconic and historic business of Birmingham will be closing their doors,” Vice President of Operations Perry Barnett said. “Ensley Fairfield Mattress earned the right to be a trusted source of sleep in Birmingham after decades and decades of great customer service, quality product and great value.”

The concept of going to the same restaurant, store, building, facility, etc. for decades is one that I find to be beautiful. My grandfather recalling memories he has in different locations around Shelby County that are still around today is such a treasure.

“There are several of our senior customers that have purchased every single mattress their entire life from us and that has always been such a special connection,” Barnett said. “We are sad for them, because we’ve always been one phone call or store visit away and we won’t be able to be there for them.”

I suppose I fear every dorm I’ve lived in; the place I had my high school prom and all the memories I have made in this county will be gone someday. I wish for those of us in the county to truly treasure the landmarks we have here. So many of us had our prom photos taken at the The Depot in Helena with the railroad car, made memories seeing our favorite artists in concert at Oak Mountain State Park or sat in the parking lots of restaurants as high schoolers.

I hope I don’t walk into an empty lot someday telling my kids of all the wonderful things that used to be. Perhaps it shouldn’t be out with the old and in with the new all the time.