About Me

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My wife Toni and I live in the beautiful Catskill mountains, where we love to spend time with family & friends. I enjoy working in the gardens,reading, hanging out at the lake and enjoying the bounty of our lives. In 2007 I started my own business and named it after our dog Spencer. "Life's been good to me so far"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Wurtsboro Hills Institution Gone


On January 1st this year the Pantry closed. I've attached the sign that's in the store window. It was the only store left operating in the Hills for years. Many local residents without cars really depended on the place. When I was a kid in the middle 1950's the store was called Barone's. A scary lady ran it. (Scary to me, she probably was very nice) You could either shop there, or in Mr Lake's store about a block away. Mr. Lake had a coconut head with a scary face painted on it behind the register. Next to the head was a sign that said, "No credit allowed". I was positive that it was the shrunken head of a customer who had asked for credit. I always made sure I had cash.

For years Barone's was empty until Esther & Mickey Walsh opened it up as the Pantry in the late 60's. Esther made great salads. My Dad would call her to reserve a quart of her cold slaw before she sold out. If you needed to know something that was going on in the Hills you could always check with Esther.Everyone went to the Pantry to pick up cold cuts, beer, or whatever you needed. If you were a little short of money, Esther would put your purchase on your account. Many Wurtsboro kids got their first job helping Esther in the store.

After Mickey passed away in 2002 Esther sold the Pantry, though she did help out in the store once in a while. The store changed hands again a year or two ago and the current owner just couldn't make a go of it. Possibly someone else will buy the store, but it just won't be the same.
Esther & the Pantry were an institution.
Luckily we still have Esther. She is busy tutoring in the Chase school, singing in her church choir and visiting her two grandchildren in New Orleans.
I'm hoping I can talk her into making some cold slaw for me.

1 comment:

Theresa and Brian said...

I remember a big tub of pink Spaldine balls as you walked in the door - always a treat to get one of those....sitting here thinging about it, I can still smell the rubber....:)