Do we all remember the days of the laundromat? I, for one, have fond memories of helping Mom haul hampers of clothes into the building in exchange for a handful of quarters. Mom would carefully separate the colors from the whites, while I searched out the closest arcade machine. I had to be careful not to spend all the quarters Mom gave me because I never knew when she was going to run out of her own stash of coins and come to me for help starting a dryer. Needless to say, I got pretty good at Galaga and Centipede. But, I also got good at learning an important life lesson. How to wash, dry, and fold your clothes properly. Mom wasn't paying me a quarter at a time to just sit and watch. I had to earn it painstakingly sorting socks and laughing at the holes in Dad's tighty whities.

Now, as an adult, I have a washer and dryer of my own. But, I still recall spending much of my time studying for tests while watching the dryer spin at multiple Missoula laundromats. One laundromat, in particular, stands out as one of my favorites mainly due to the fact that it was conveniently close to my place near the University of Montana campus. I talking about the longstanding Sparkle Laundry near Hellgate High School. Many hours were spent in this particular establishment. Not to mention a couple of great conversations with strangers. And even a few friends.

Google Street View

According to a recent post on Reddit, it is rumored that the popular laundromat will be closing its doors for good next month. Some "Redditors" are saying that the reason behind the closing is a sharp increase in rent, saying the rent is going up nearly 300%.

With all the failing businesses closing around Missoula, and the rest of the country, I got to say that it will be sad to see this one go. Stay fresh my friends.

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