Wednesday October 31, 2012

In a day of huge multifaceted electronic communication devices and huge superstore markets, the Public Market in West Stockbridge, a little "Ma and Pa" shop, reopened with a resurgence and revitalization that goes to the depth of human experience of community.

Why is there so much loneliness when we have so many people and so many ways of communicating? Have we missed the art of gazing into another's heart? The Public Market gives a hint!

Four distinct differences mark this as more than a "public market." People say hello to you whether they know you or not as you come into the store, even sometimes before you get in the front door. The personnel are all personal, friendly and helpful. Products of all kinds are personally prepared, wrapped with care, and neatly offered to you. You are wished a good day and feel better after you go out of the store regardless of how much or how little you spend.

It was a grand slam of a weekend and a slam dunk for a place to stop even to go out of the way for. As a local yokel, I go in nearly every day. It is a joy to be wished well and to wish others well every day. It is a "community market center." It is life the way it used to be and always should be.

When I first came to West Stockbridge I needed someone to walk my dog. I checked with Ann Fallon who was then the owner of the market and she gave me the name of Tim Butterworth, who provided wonderful care and companionship for my dog while I was at work in Albany. So whatever you need you can find help at the market as the new owners pick up the same community minded focus of the past into the future. DONALD L PAINE

West Stockbridge