Westport 7-10

I drove through Port Henry the other day and was shocked to see brown paper taped inside the windows of the Aubuchon Hardware. Word is the guys from corporate showed up the other day and just closed the place down. A story in the paper said the Port Henry store was Aubuchon's first in New York State, and it opened in 1966, yet there was no warning at all to the employees who now have to find jobs; no warning to town officials; nothing.

I guess the upside of not having corporate-run businesses in our community is stuff like that doesn't happen here. Of course, the corporations bring jobs with them, but when they decide to move on, they tend to yank the rug out quick and fast. Our smaller, owner-operated businesses have a much stronger bond with the community. Something to think about next time you're weighing the options of buying locally or going further afield.

We're also lucky to have so many wonderful cultural institutions that are home grown, too. At the Depot Theatre the summer season is in full swing with "What a Wonderful Feeling," a play based on the tempestuous behind-the-scenes love triangle between Gene Kelly, Jeanne Coyne, and Stanley Donen during the filming of "Singin' in the Rain." Lots of great dancing and all those favorite tunes - a sure crowd pleaser. It runs July 9-18, with "name-your-price night" Monday, July 12. Call 962-4449 for tickets and reservations.

And the Arts Council will bring us a rare opportunity to see the famed Lake Placid Sinfonietta right here in Westport Thursday, July 15, at 7 p.m. at the Heritage House. This 20-piece orchestra dates back to 1917, and it features top-notch musicians from leading orchestras and university faculties across the country. Admission is $20, or listen in the Parish Hall for a $7 donation (bring your own chair).

Everyone asks about my "Champlain Bridge 1929-2009" T-shirt. My mom got it for me at the Bessboro Shop. Between Bessboro and Westport Trading Company, I don't remember the last time I left town to find a gift for someone.

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