Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bittersweet and in print

So I made the paper - not just an online article, but something printed in one of our free local weekly papers for this area. It was bittersweet to open a publication and see my shop and it's story splashed across the pages but that is what I wanted right? I mean, I set out to do this blog to not only share my journey of closing and saying goodbye but to make mention of small, locally owned businesses. I wanted to explain how far apart we are from the soulless chains and how we are living, breathing, vibrant parts of our communities.

I don't know how much of that came across in the article but it was well done. I think the reporter/writer "got it", but for the sake of the story I'm not sure how much he wanted to go into detail about the death of small businesses because that could be a bit depressing, and yet I think he did include a few snippets of things I'd said. This has been such an interesting experience for me to share these final 90 days as I move towards closing and I think that's what landed me the article rather than the fact this store is closing after 35 years. Do I care which angle caught someone's attention? In a way I do, because being interviewed because of the loss of a local icon would have been satisfying to pass that on to the public, but perhaps that doesn't create good material and probably no one would have read it. More people are inclined to turn a blind eye to the fading of mom and pop I believe, and it's not probably comfortable to view the evidence that we may be disappearing. Silently embracing the big box lifestyle is the new normal and still I suspect many have a twinge of sadness at seeing places close; perhaps even a tiny nagging feeling of guilt for their lack of caring.

The last two posts on my blog very much reflected the dedication that so many small business owners have for what they do. I think illustrating the public service site that I run and offer to my area shows how I'm connected to my community, and then there's the look at how our worlds and shopping habits have shifted so greatly from multiple personal interactions to just a one stop focus. I don't feel that everything under one roof is better and it will be interesting to hear the opinions of others regarding that.

Despite the publicity from the article, it's been a bit daunting to have even more people come in appearing eager to ask for details. It seems that in an odd way people would prefer to sort of minimize the years we have been here and instead write the store's closing off as "progress". Maybe sometimes we find it easier to find a word to assign to change that we see but don't really wish to think too hard about. Maybe sometimes we don't wish to see what is right in front of us.

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  1. Somewhere in the late 90s, I dropped into your store and we started talking about your website. I helped you a little bit with the site, but with me being in Pittsburgh and you in Fenwick, it wasn't practical for me to continue helping. But I still recall those discussions, and I enjoyed speaking with you. And each year, I would return and buy some of your unique flavors of taffy. Good luck to you.

  2. Data blueprints.....I remember you. You were on the cutting edge of technology and I wasn't quite there, was I. Didn't we chat about you trying to find an oceanfront condo rental for the following summer? Gosh that was so many years ago.....thank you for commenting and taking the time to read this. Have you been back here to visit?