WARMING TO SUCCESS

CHILLICOTHE, OHIO, IS QUIETLY PROSPERING. SHOPPERS ARE TRADING UP TO FANCY LAWN FURNITURE AT WAL-MART. BUT FEW CAN YET BELIEVE THEIR GOOD FORTUNE

In the middle of the best economy in more than two decades, people in Chillicothe, Ohio, can see the fireworks but can't hear the boom. Prosperity is not a parade through the center of town; it has arrived so quietly, by modem and by minivan, that people here don't trust what they see.

They're buying better cuts of meat, says the butcher, but driving an extra 100 miles to get a better car deal; saving money on toilet paper at Wal-Mart--"I never did that in the '80s," says a local businessman--so they have extra to spend on a better breed of...

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