Twilight Drive-In in Aldergrove. (Langley Advance Times files)

Twilight Drive-In in Aldergrove. (Langley Advance Times files)

Ryan’s Regards: Farewell to Langley landmarks

Gabby’s Country Cabaret and Mary’s British Store will be missed

So, Gabby’s Country Cabaret has closed its doors for good.

I remember that the building made an impression on me when I drove through Langley for the very first time; I mean, it’s kind of curiously distinct, is it not?

My two-steppin’ feet weren’t frequenters by any means, but the handful of times I did walk through its doors, it was always a good time; few places have a timeless atmosphere quite like they did.

Whenever I started yearning for the Prairies, it was the best solution to cure my country blues.

Gabby’s will be missed.

Mary’s British Store was another staple of ours that has now sadly disappeared; I suppose it is now too late to tell you that nothing beats a good Scotch pie.

Every time we had visitors – particularly my girlfriend’s mother – we would somehow or another end up there; loading up on cookies and English sweets for her to take home.

Mary’s will be missed.

My girlfriend and I took in a late showing of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom last week at Twilight Drive-In – I’m proud to say, like all of the other times, I did not fall asleep.

My heart pounded in the days that followed, not because I was afraid someone was going to rip it out like what happens in the movie, but because there was talk the establishment might have to close.

The drive-in has managed to hang on – albeit by drastically limiting the amount of cars that can visit – but that moment of uncertainly truly acted as a reminder of how fast a beloved business could disappear.

Twilight, too, was nearly missed.

READ MORE: Ryan’s Regards: Bread baking bonanza!

Unfortunately, we have a lot more mourning to do when it comes to the loss of landmarks, and my heart goes out to anyone who loses their business.

It’s hard to see the places we love, maybe even grew up with, shutter for good.

I have been wondering about what’s going to happen we when get the all clear to go out and congregate again at our favorite hangouts… those places may no longer be there.

I had imagined something along the lines of people running in slow motion through a meadow to the song “Born Free” by Andy Williams, heading towards familiar doors.

Instead, we enter a time of unprecedented change.

Not that it was any secret before, but I believe coronavirus helped the world to fully understand that we are absolutely living in a digital era.

Films, television shows, music, and now, even social interactions can be experienced thanks to the click of a button.

Books and newspapers can be read, clothing can be bought, and even food can be ordered to your door without leaving your home.

Banking, exercising, practising a faith… plain and simple, you don’t need to go out at the best of times anymore.

People may shake their fists at COVID-19, curse the year 2020, and remember the good times at businesses that are no longer; but while tough times certainly didn’t help – I think the impending wave of closures is a societal shift and a far bigger issue.

If we want to keep local doors open that are now just beginning to re-open, we’re going to have to make a choice; order online and stream our entertainment or turn off our laptops and phones, venture out, and save our city.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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ColumnistCoronavirusLangley