Since then, we have always gone to Byrne Dairy for milk and other essentials and non-essentials. I have always, in that 38 or so year span, brought the posters for the school's plays and musicals and for the village's SUMMERPLAY to the store for display, and the Byrne Dairy staff, often my ex-students, gladly posted them on a window, a wall, or the front of the ice machine. So. . .I was surprised when yesterday, a nice young fellow, the store manager I believe, told me that "corporate" policy no longer permitted local posters to be displayed in BYRNE DAIRY. I questioned him briefly, suggested that this was not a policy that would be well received by village organizations. . .but it wasn't this guy's fault, so I left--ANGRY!
I refused to let my anger last. After all, I try to live on "Beaufort" time. And I knew that Byrne wasn't the only chain store in the village to have such a policy. Rite-Aid has had this non-community attitude for years. When I mentioned on FACEBOOK that I had been rebuffed by Byrne, I was informed that Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and Pizza Hut also deny local signage. Those stores had turned away representatives from Vacation Bible School. "Wow!" I thought and was reminded of the song "Alice's Restaurant" in which Arlo Guthrie declares, "we got a movement."
So I thought about it, and I realized where "CORPORATE" was coming from. They couldn't possibly give over ad space to such local organizations for fear of suggesting they were in support of those organizations. If they let subversive organizations like Vacation Bible School and local summer theater advertise there, what would come next. Lions Club? That would upset PETA! Rotary? Well, maybe Rotary would be O.K. They are an organization of business people. Or how about Sullivan Community Council? Sure, now they support social activities like youth athletics, but. . .isn't that just a few steps away from socialism?
This blog isn't about anything I have written about, really. It's a blog in thanks to the many locally owned stores, and the corporate entities like KINNEY DRUGS and DO IT BEST HARDWARE, that continue to operate on the "hometown" level, a word that has often been a part of Byrne Dairy advertising, and are happy to put up posters and such for their fellow citizens. . . And let's not worry about the other stores who choose to be a bit less community friendly. I mean why should they put up something as simple as a community bulletin board in their stores? After all, what have they gotten from the Chittenango residents over the years. . . other than a few million dollars?