By Judy Reiss
Well I have decided today that the world is just racing past me and I am really not aware of what is happening. I know that I have told you that every day a group of women meets in Waitsfield at the Three Mountain Café for coffee, tea and snacks. And because we meet every day and as we chat and talk, we definitely make noise. So, we have been given the name of the Grandmamafia! And anyone can join us as long as they are willing to unburden themselves whenever it is necessary! Last week, or was it the week before, I don’t really know, the problem of what is happening with our drugstore was a topic of vigorous discussions.
We have had a drugstore in the Valley for well over 55 years. It has changed from a very small store on the corner of Bridge Street to one that opened in the big, new shopping center many, many years ago. Now this very convenient store has been the lifeline of many Valley residents. But now? Well, things they are a changing! It started that the store was open 7 days a week but with some hourly changes. Although it was open on Sunday it was with limited hours. And I happen to think that this is a very usable option. I am not able to tell you exactly what the days and hours were but I do know that over the year it has worked well for me and my family. But all of a sudden the drugstore was bought by a national chain. Yup, Kinney Drugs came to the Mad River Valley and although everything looks the same, it really isn’t! Now I have to admit that the druggist is very nice and accommodating and the salespeople couldn’t be nicer. I don’t know if you are still able to call and talk with the customer servant or not, but if you are lucky enough to talk to one of the people who you have known for years, things are just fine. But here is my problem with Kinney Drugs 2016. The hours they are a changing! No Sundays and no Saturdays plus during the week, instead of hours that those who work can utilize, someone, somewhere has decided that 9-5 is good enough for the Valley! For me, who is no longer working it is fine. But if you have a full-time job which can be from 8-6 or 9-5 you will not be able to go to the drugstore to shop or even to pick up your prescription! And the next thing you know, we will hear that THE DRUGSTORE is going to close because they don’t have enough business to stay in business!
I am not really just trying to pick on the new drugstore, But it sure would be nice to be able to shop there and still have a full-time job! Maybe someone at the top of the heap has decided that Waterbury or even Montpelier is just not too far to go if you need actual doctor prescribed medications.
And sad as it might be, the Valley residents waved good-bye to Patricia Lynne Clothing store the other day. After serving the Valley for many, many years, Patricia is retiring and her customers have assured her that she will be missed! Today, the Grandmamafias were sad to note that Patricia had retired but it opened the problem of where in the Valley could you buy any clothes for women! Way back when the Troll Shop moved off the mountain and opened on the Valley floor, we have been able to buy gifts and clothes for women. Although I am not able to remember every single women’s store, over the years I have been an avid shopper! Unfortunately I am unable to think of any shop still available to me! I guess if you are really desperate and need a certain type of lovely high end clothes for young women you could go to the Warren Store but it is just not really accessible to older (and handicapped) shoppers like me.
I have been picking on the stores and shopping available in the Mad River Valley which really isn’t very fair. But I have been living in the Valley for about 56 years and have been married and brought up my children here for 51 years. And I chose to live here because I was thrilled to meet and greet the wonderful people who were already living here…and working and offering a certain lifestyle that I loved and wanted for myself and my family. And I am not stupid enough to think that things will never change and changed they have! But what I do think is sad is that many of the people that I first met here, still live and work here. However, the people who moved here because they also like the lifestyle, once here have made many too many changes! They have changed much of what they originally loved. And now it is possible to see that the reason they came here and what they left behind, has slowly but surely been brought here!
Oh well, if we are strong enough to gather together and try to keep the Vermont that we love, we should try and do it. Allowing New Jersey, or Connecticut or New York or even Massachusetts to re-establish themselves here in Vermont is unfortunate and even frightening. If you miss that type of living, please, feel free to go back there and let us live in the slow lane that was Vermont.