Darkened Windows - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2047796

Darkened Windows

Used to a village environment of slow, steady change, the unwelcome sight of a shuttered Schmidt’s Market this morning left me saddened [“Schmidt’s Market Will Close After 43 Years in Business,” 27east.com, October 5]. The store closed, windows empty, stacks of early contractor vans and oversized utility vehicles now missing from the parking lot.

I can go on here and romanticize a version of the quaint village corner grocery store, bins of fresh produce, friendly familiar faces, but it wasn’t a fantasy — Schmidt’s was that.

Like the Village Hall and post office, for me, Schmidt’s business and oversized presence was vital to this small community.

For all the talk of essential services, the friendly, welcoming environment this store provided every day to a crush of landscapers’ muddy boots and lawyerly suits was at the core of what is indeed essential to a community.

As a frequent customer for decades, I most looked forward to chatting up owner Dennis Schmidt, always busy up front or jumping in at a register, the neat stacks of newspapers nearby (this paper included) providing fodder to our shared take on the world’s daily headlines of changes both big and small.

No one is more fun to run through the headlines with than Dennis. His hardworking son, Dan, forever polite and helpful, and the familiar faces of long-serving employees, too.

Recent talk is of a move nearby. Fingers crossed.

We all can embrace change — it’s often healthy and vital. But darkened windows on another storefront on North Sea Road is not one of them.

Perry Guillot