Monday, September 19, 2011

That Connection

I saw in the paper that Bonfiglio's had sale. Another piece of Greenville history gone. Box stores taking the place of locally-owned stores. The personal touch disappearing with each store that closes.

We walked into the Palace. Mom knew the clerk. We had been there many times before. It was the same when we walked into the grocery or the meat market. "Hi, Ruth," the greetings came. "How's the family?"

I can walk into a local store here and be recognized by the clerks. We nod and say "hello". Yet it's not the same.

"How is Ruth feeling today?" the pharmacist asked when Dad picked up a prescription. Dad stood and chatted awhile about Mom and the weather. It was the same in later years when one of the Loxley daughters stopped to pick up meds. I was always surprised when asked how long I was going to be home. Yes, we were all one big family.

One stop shopping in the big stores leaves me a bit empty. As I go through the line, I look at the clerk and smile, asking how her day is going. She give me the courtesy smile and asks me the same. Her heart isn't really in it. Perhaps her paycheck depends on it. I'm missing the stores in Arcanum and Greenville.

We have lost something with the passing of the Mom and Pop stores. We have lost a neighborly feeling that comes when walking into a store where you are remembered. We have lost something when the box store is so large that we fail to bump into someone we know. We have lost that connection.

My daughter works in a pharmacy. I am always greeted by those who know me. We laugh and chat. I sense a bit of what was lost long ago. A pharmacy closes and dissolves into history. There are those of us who remember.

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