Letter: Downtown shops have plenty to offer locals

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Letter to the Reformer

I cannot agree with Mr. Finnell's statement that Brattleboro's downtown stores don't sell what we need. While Brattleboro may not have everything I need, it has most of the essentials. The first thing I look for in a downtown is a good hardware store, and we have Brown and Roberts, a place with a knowledgeable staff and a good selection of tools, fittings, paint, whatever I need to fix things with. And if I happen to be driving, they even have their own parking lot! Next, I want a pharmacy, and we have Hotel Pharmacy right on Elliot Street. Then, I want a good book store, and there are two top notch places right across the street from each other - one for those new books I might want to get first hand, and one for browsing the used book shelves for things that might surprise me. And if someone wants a pair of inexpensive jeans, as Mr. Finnell does, well, Sam's has a great irregulars section with prices lower than the box store brands. Brattleboro has some second-hand stores, too. Not everyone likes second-hand clothing, but I've found some good things at Experienced Goods - and the money I spend there goes to a good local cause. It's true that there are some things I can't get downtown, things that I used to find at Mann's Department Store back in the 80s. But most of what I need is still within a few town blocks. As for those stores where Mr. Finnell can't figure out what they are selling, I would suggest that he take a few minutes and step inside to find out. Gift shops are not just for tourists. Sometimes I need to buy a gift for someone, too. Something unusual for someone I like a lot.

Eric Bass

Putney, Oct. 30

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