Letter to the editor: Ripton’s almost ‘perfect store’

If ever there was the perfect place
For a smallish jar of mayonnaise,
Where a newly cellophaned ham and cheese
Is the only thing you know will please,
The signs shout Coffee! Sandwiches! Worms! 
You brake your pickup on the berm
And head inside where Dick or Sue
Will let you know what’s good for you —
You check your mail, chat a while,
Peruse the papers, buy a pile
Of Freeman Allen’s Ripton Reds
(Tomatoes) grown behind his shed,
When hot enough it’s always nice
To haul a bag from the bin spelled IEC,
The bread is Wonder, crackers Ritz,
The power’s sometimes on the fritz,
Usually sooner, rarely later
Dick plugs in his generator,
And all is well, the coffee hotter,
Cold the beer and bottled water,
Potatoes and onions in the barrel
(Eat the soft ones at your peril),
Ever for me the perfect store,
Not just because I live next door,
This town became a town because
The Ripton Country Store once was.
Richard Hawley

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