I hadn't been back to the tiny town since my family moved away over twenty years ago when I was in elementary school. Nestled in the back-country of Michigan, there is little reason to visit Columbiaville unless you have family or friends to visit. The town's slogan is "A good place to have roots", as if they don't expect people to stay or they're too modest to say "a great place to have roots". People do stay, though.
The first thing I noticed was how little anything had changed. It was as if the town was in limbo the entire time. Not only were the houses, stores, and streets the same, but the same people lived in the houses surrounding ours. The same neighbors were out mowing or biking like they did in the 80's.
To be fair, the town did add a couple nice parks since the 80's including a 10-mile biking path across the water to a nearby town. A bike and boat rental was opened near the trail-head for visitors. The town's only grocery store where we used to rent VHS tapes was boarded up, but the little convenience store still sold push-pops.
A movie, Don't Wait Until Dawn, finished filming in the town two weeks ago. It should be interesting to see footage of the town and its one restaurant in the movie even if it turns out to be a typical small-town thriller.
A few pictures from the trip: