This week Freedom General Store announced that they were closing their doors once their highly discounted inventory is sold, citing the state of the workforce and economy. I was disheartened to hear this news.

Freedom General has been a mainstay of the downtown “village” for decades. I often cited it to friends “from away” as a proud representation of our small town. They could never get over how the gas pumps did not have electronic readouts, and I enjoyed telling them that my late grandfather had a sandwich named after him there (and which I am now realizing I never ordered myself. Anyone want to tell me how the “Wassey All-Meat Special” tasted?).

I fondly remember how prior owners Paul and Kate Flynn would post happy birthday messages to residents, and stopping into the store after farm team baseball games back in the day.

As of mid-morning on Dec. 13, the store’s Facebook post announcing the closure had 84 reactions, 17 comments, and 152 “shares.” The store’s Facebook page already had 937 “likes” and more than one thousand “followers.” One does not need to look further to see the impact this closure will have on the community.

Best of luck to Carrie Bennett — I’m sure deciding to close the store was not an easy decision — and best of luck to the workers who now have to find other jobs.

This column will pick back up after the holiday season. Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! Be mindful that Freedom’s Winter Road Policy is now in effect. Check out the town website or call the Town Office for more information.