The 2010’s are coming to an end, and quite a few things about the Coulee Region were different at the end of 2009, compared to now.
Exactly a decade ago, La Crosse had a young mayor named Matt Harter. Tim Kabat was about to become the head of Downtown Mainstreet, Incorporated, succeeding Bud Miyamoto. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle was about ready to retire after two terms. Jennifer Shilling was one of three people representing La Crosse in the legislature. The others were Mike Huebsch and Senator Dan Kapanke.
La Crosse County offices were still in the old courthouse, next to City Hall. The block between the post office on 4th Street and Wettstein’s on 3rd Street was still one big parking lot. The La Crosse Community Theatre was in the same spot where it had been since 1968, next to the Cavalier Bar.
Valley View Mall had four big anchor stores–Penney’s, Sears, Herbergers, and Macy’s. And it still had movie theaters. If you couldn’t find what you wanted at the mall, you could always go to K-Mart or Shopko. On New Year’s Day, the Packers were getting ready for their last game of the regular season at Arizona, which they won. Then, a week later, the Packers were in Arizona again for a playoff game, which they lost in overtime. And entertaining you on late night TV were David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Craig Ferguson. Does it seem like 10 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse?