In the Colorado farm town of Longmont (pop. 14,500), as in most such places in the U.S. farm belts, Saturday night used to be the liveliest night of the week, as farm families drove into town for the week's big ritual: shopping and gossiping.

Last week Longmont decided to end its big Saturday night. Thanks to mechanization on the farms and better roads, farm families no longer save Saturday night for the old ritual; they have more time, can shop more frequently. To Chamber of Commerce members, the proof was plain enough: Saturday-night...

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