To the Editor:
While I was doing my daily grocery shopping at Cronig’s the other day, I ran into a customer I hadn’t seen in a while, almost four years maybe. She said, “Lorraine, I’m so glad when I get to the Vineyard in June and drive past your store that you’re still here and still in business. There have been so many changes, so many stores I loved that are gone.”
She then listed some that have closed. I immediately thought, if I hadn’t seen her in a while maybe they hadn’t seen her either, and couple that with the economy, no wonder our Island-owned stores are struggling or closing. So I gently touched her arm and said, “Laura, if you want to see me next year, then come in and buy something, even if it’s a simple tee-shirt.”
So, this letter is written to all you wonderful summer residents who have millions of things to do when you get here and hordes of guests to cart around, don’t forget the stores which you have loved and supported over the years. We need you now more than ever.
Imagine if most of our Island owned retail stores faded away and were replaced by off-Island chain stores or stores owned by people who don’t really live here. It just wouldn’t be the same, now would it?
We can all be effective in preserving the Vineyard’s uniqueness and charm in this respect and in this quickly changing world we live in today, I don’t want to ever say, “When and how did that happen?”
Looking forward to my 33rd year here in business.