To The Daily Sun,
Almost everywhere he goes he sees someone he knows. At the grocery store, the fair, or at the beach in Maine, someone he knows will stop him to say hello or ask for his advice. You may have sat with him in his "office", better known as the sound room, and shared the recent struggles or joys in your life. He has enjoyed listening to your stories about your kids and about your work. He is quite the story teller himself and before you know it, you're laughing together and forgetting some of your problems. Over the years, you have become friends with the guy — better known as Pete, at Greenlaw's Music Store.
A Laconia business for 60 years, David Greenlaw's father first opened Greenlaw's Music in the early 1950s. Since then you may have stopped in to pick up a musical instrument for your son or daughter's school band, sheet music for your church choir, a t.v. and sound system for your new or newly remodeled home, a guitar or drum set so you can take lessons, or like me — buy your first stereo. You see, I went into Greenlaw's to buy my first real stereo from Peter 30 years ago.
So what is the purpose of my letter? You may have heard that it's important to "shop local." I encourage you to take this one step further. Look around your local area where you live and witness your friends and neighbors at work. They are the people you know. Your local small business owners and their employees live next to you, go to church with you, or volunteer at your child's sporting events. Sometimes you just recognize their face and wonder "where do I know that person from?" Then you remember she works at the local flower shop or he owns the local bakery. Or you remember she used to work at the local gift shop that went out of business last year because they struggled to compete with the online market place and big box stores.
Consider that every time you shop at a local business, you are supporting your friends and neighbors. Put faces and names to those businesses. I'm using Pete, Dave and Abe at Greenlaw's Music Store as examples of this, but there are so many people in small businesses just like them.
Saturday, November 30th is Small Business Saturday. We all do some shopping online, but on this day, throughout the upcoming Christmas shopping season, and beyond, please shop in local stores and businesses when you can. Visit your friends and neighbors who work in your local restaurants, shoe store or jewelry store. They are ready to help you with your shopping list and welcome you in, as friends do. Plus, don't forget to visit their online store fronts like Greenlawsmusic.com if you can't get out to see them.
Supporting our friends and neighbors reminds me of the 1940s Christmas movie "It's A Wonderful Life". In the final scene when George Bailey and his family are surrounded by people who know and love them, Clarence the angel has written this note to George, "No man is a failure who has friends!"