The IGA Super Saver grocery store in Winsted, CT
Changes – they can be either a blessing or a curse. Or perhaps both. And when they actually happen – they can arouse a wide array of opinions and emotions, depending on your own perspective. And sometimes, they go beyond where you live.
At the end of this month – and after over thirty years in the same spot – the IGA Super Saver in Winsted, Connecticut will close for good and be possibly replaced with a community grocery co-op. No doubt the reactions and responses to this have been varied – and coming at a time when the local grocery store in one’s own hometown is becoming a thing of the past, especially when supermarket and retail store mega-chains are now dominating today’s communities throughout the world. I’m not surprised – the world has changed greatly since my generation, and those of my own family members and friends was born (and my 52nd birthday will be coming up this Thursday), and the progress that we’ve made in our own lifetimes have already advanced us to where we are now. On the other hand, progress has made many things obsolete – and the local family-owned grocery store might be one of them, especially the fact that there aren’t more than one of them in our own hometowns these days (I know that there were several local grocery stores in Winsted when my generation and I were growing up). The same also applies to local businesses which then existed, but have since been rendered outmoded by mega-chain stores and the Internet – not to mention the times that we live in.
Even entertainment changes – and sometimes, not for the better. By month’s end, the Ringling Brothers & Barnum-Bailey Circus will shut down for good for several reasons, including the fact that the old-time circus under the big top was already rendered obsolete, and had been since the 1950’s, when television started to change the world that they live in. Unlike the motion picture industry, which has partly relied on technology to survive and endure, the old-time circus ended up become extinct, much like the horse and buggy-wagon as a means of transportation – and the bow and arrow as a weapon – if only because it belonged to a far-away time chronciled only in history books and aging newspaper article clippings. Of course, an old-time circus doesn’t mean much to today’s generation – dictated in part by changing times, tastes, and technologies. I feel sorry for today’s generation and those to follow, partly because they’ll never experience and thrill to what my generation and those before us enjoyed while we were growing up. But I also feel sorry for my generation – and those of my family members and friends – since we know that someday, we’ll pass on, just like our own collective memories. Just like we know that things might change for the worst someday – and possibly render our past, present, and future extinct. And that’s one change that all of us would rather do without.
JOHN LAVERNOICH is the author of five published books, as well as various short stories and articles – including his most recent, Betrayed – and Burned, which you can read at Booksie.com. (Keywords: John Lavernoich.)
©2017 John Lavernoich.