Cheaper is not always better

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to Bonnie Conklin’s letter of last week concerning small businesses in the Hilltowns.  Maybe because Mrs. Conklin was born and raised here in the Hilltowns, she is not clear about why some of us have chosen to move up here and spend the rest of our lives in the beautiful Helderbergs.

There is no question about the difficulty of maintaining small businesses here in the four Hilltowns.  I commend their owners and would like to recognize the dedication and the hard work they put into keeping their businesses going.

Maintaining a small business anywhere is a challenge, especially where the population density is low. However, part of the beauty of living up here is the quality of life that the Hilltowns offer.

We live here because of the remoteness of these hills from the suburbs; the absence of big business and population; and the noise, air, and light pollution that accompany them. It is often inconvenient to live out here but it is worth it.

We all are mindful of the need to “fill up” on our way up from Albany. There are already two competitively priced filling stations/convenience stores on the Hill. To stop on the way home from town as we pass one of these small businesses, even just to pick up a loaf of bread or a dozen eggs, would go a long way toward keeping these businesses alive.

Support from locals is essential to their success.  As for the “big business” she mentions in her letter, I wonder if Mrs. Conklin has ever purchased a sandwich or piece of pizza at one of those shops.

How could she possibly prefer those  to what is (or was) available at the Fox Creek Market, the Medusa General Store, P & L’s Deli, or the Olde Corner Store?  Cheaper is not always better.

Local stores don’t expect to provide everything a family needs.  My family and I moved here 45 years ago for the quality of life the Hilltowns provide.  It is inconvenient at times, maybe even frustrating, especially this past winter, but I retired here.

I have no intention of moving off the hill to a sunnier and most likely more crowded place.  I am here in Berne to stay, because I love the quality of my life up here in the Hilltowns. There is nothing wrong with a “one-horse town” (her term) when it’s your horse.

Richard J. Ronconi