Nation & World

Bumpy ride on Main Street - Woodland, California

Tom Workman spends his days watching traffic on Main Street. The sidewalks are mostly empty, and the antique store where he works is hardly bustling these days. Folks are spooked, he says, by these volatile economic times.

In Woodland, where Main Street has struggled for years, the latest economic tremors – and debate over a $700 billion bailout package – is spawning talk of frustration and resignation.

Wall Street would seem a world away, but the repercussions of failed deals, risky decisions and hard choices that will surely follow in Washington are rumbling through real Main Streets all across America.

"You really can't let it bother you," said Workman. "What are you going to do, what can you do?"

Woodland's Main Street is a 10-block thoroughfare of thrift shops, restaurants, antique stores, boutiques, offices and vacant spaces – about three dozen emptied by the ups and downs of Woodland's smalltown economy. In August, the closure of the Next Chapter bookstore, a Main Street institution for 21 years, was the latest sign of the strip's hard economic times.

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