by John Sullivan
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, when Americans head to the woods, beach and back yards to get fresh air and sunshine and shed the dreary winter blues. I went to Vermont.
Out for a hike along a river with Gabe, we came upon a wide mountain stream gushing white water down a rocky slope. The stepping stones had been pushed away over the winter and we wanted to cross. After several minutes of contemplating the next step, Gabe decided to step on the one good stone available. With the left foot planted on the rock he brought his right foot up and placed it next to his left foot. He then stood up very slowly to get balance and his right foot went right into a rock crevice of gushing ice cold mountain water. I decided to take my boots and socks off and walk right into the cold water. The air was cool and the sun was unaware of the holiday weekend. My feet were cold just standing on the damp forest floor. I plunged my right foot into the stream and yelped out loud then I placed my left foot into deeper water and stood still to get balance. The icy cold water made my body stiffen up and reminded me I am still alive. I took the next steps slowly and without hesitation and said to myself, “I will survive”.
The rumors are true; Prince Postale is closing for good. I will survive, so will the neighborhood. I took a step at operating my own store and faced more obstacles than a mountain stream. I went in with both feet and never bothered to look for a stepping stone or walking stick to help me navigate my uncharted path. I failed at the books and the finances, but succeeded beyond imagination at providing services, making connections, solving problems and being there for a community I love. My little shop on Prince Street touched the World – literally. The rumor of my closing has been heard in Brazil, England, Germany, Spain and even New Jersey without me announcing anything to anyone. For that fact, I am a success.
I have shipped to every continent except for Antarctica. I have shipped a Christmas tree to Arizona. I have shipped my burritos to western Massachusetts. I have wrapped and packed two original Picasso’s. I have built crates for MIT and Harvard. I have made contacts around the world and around the country. I have made doughnuts and crumb cake to near perfection. I have cut a lot of keys. I have dealt with the FBI, Homeland Security, state and local police and the US Postal Police (Mailbox holders). I have intercepted packages, rerouted packages, held packages and thrown out packages. I have given direction to the corporate pizza chain restaurant more than I would have liked. I have washed out cuts, provided band aids, pumped up basketballs and soccer balls, as well as bicycle tires for all the kids in the neighborhood. I have received hundreds of thank you cards and notes over the years, and I have all of them. I made more people smile than frown.
I want to thank everyone that has expressed their thoughts and gave me hugs on how I made a difference in their lives and in the neighborhood. I am humbled by the kindness and caring comments. What is next for me? Good question. What is next for this location? Not my question to answer or even speculate. My landlord has been extremely good to me by allowing me the opportunity to be on Prince Street. I am forever thankful.
See you in the neighborhood.