Time may heal all wounds, but it doesn't necessarily pave the way for every new business owner's lifetime dream-Grand Opening.
Fred Bloons learned this lesson the hard way when the Manchester Township zoning committee in New Jersey refused to grant his request to open a balloon novelty shop-Inflatable Dreams.
"I filed all the necessary paperwork," Bloons said, "and was told that someone from the committee would contact me. I was given the runaround for several months and was eventually forced to attend committee meetings."
Bloons said he was notified of the committee's decision just last week, after he had ordered supplies and had hundreds of business cards made up.
"I look like a fool," Bloons said. "I really don't understand their decision."
While committee members refused to go on record, one member said he tried repeatedly to warn Bloons about such a venture.
"Opening a balloon store isn't going to happen anytime soon," the member said. "It's a matter of decorum-of being sensitive to the feelings of those still reeling from the tragedy."
The 1937 crash of the Zepplin Hindenburg is still an open sore for those living in Manchester, the committee member said, and having a balloon shop so close to the crash site is "like spitting on the graves of the victims."
Carl Rodgers, tour guide at the crash site, agrees.
"Balloons of any kind are tacky," he said. "Though I'm not sure what the proper etiquette would be, I'd say wait at least 100 years-maybe then it wouldn't be so disrespectful to everyone else."
Bloons said he was aware of the anti-balloon sentiment, but was sure that a tax revenue business would be enough of an incentive to push his proposal over the hump.
"I think it's time to move on," he said. "It's time to celebrate life and what better way to do that than with a balloon?"
An unscientific poll found that residents were equally divided over the balloon controversy.
"My kids only see balloons on TV and I want to keep it that way," said Gladys Holiday, a life-long resident. "Have you seen those huge balloons at them parades? They're totally creepy and who wants to explain to their kids why there's mutant balloons floating all willy-nilly?"
While the community may have burst his balloon, Bloons said he wasn't going to give up on his dream so easily.
"I got a lot of fight left in me and plenty of hot air in these lungs," he said. "They haven't heard the last from me."