When my wife and I moved to this area, people were starting businesses to hand down to their children. That has changed. Businesses are now started to be built up and sold for millions to large corporations. As this change of attitude began trickling into this area, I was annoyed at first: prices usually went up, contact with the provider went down. My attitude slowly changed.
We started out buying our home heating oil from Beyer & Fortner. When Beyer & Fortner was sold to a Rochester corporation, I soon discovered that my wife and I were paying more for home heating oil than Klose & Sons in nearby Mifflinburg was selling it for. Since I owed considerably less to the state of New York than to Mifflinburg, I switched fuel companies and put my oil payments to work locally.
When Buffalo Valley Telephone Company was bought by Windstream Holdings of Arkansas, the Lewisburg office was closed. I could not get the fastest internet speed nor a reliable long-distance connection for my telephone. So, I switched to Service Electric of Bethlehem, offices in Northumberland, and got the fastest internet speed, telephone, and cable TV service in one convenient package—all with a nearby office with people I can talk to.
When Santander Bank acquired my bank, since I owed my life to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and nothing to Santander, Spain, we switched our accounts to the Lewisburg office of Member’s Choice Financial Credit Union of Danville. MCFCU offers as many financial services as Santander, including ATM access, mobile phone access, an online budget program, automatic bill payment, debit and credit cards, and a low, low-cost credit line.
I am proud to be a Pennsylvanian living in the Susquehanna Valley. I was born in North Carolina, but one of the most fortuitous decisions my wife and I ever made was to take up residence here 52 years ago. I owe this community and this region for all that I briefly described above and much more. I want as much of my money as possible to work for the Susquehanna Valley, to which we owe so much.
That is not to say I owe nothing to the United States more broadly. I love this country, its government, and all its states so much that I have fought hard to make it behave itself, by marching, joining group protests, calling and writing letters to my congressmen, and contributing to the state and national campaigns of good, intelligent politicians.
I am no isolationist: I taught Russian and linguistics for 35 years at Bucknell and have lectured on linguistics in Holland, France, Thailand, Russia, Poland, and Byelorussia. I love all those countries and many others whether I visited them or not. I simply want to give back to the Susquehanna Valley proportionately to the gifts it has given me and my family. We need a feeling of immediacy in our daily lives, and the Susquehanna Valley is our broader family.
So, my wife and I are localists as much as possible. We go to the Wednesday market in Lewisburg every week for most of our fruit, meat, and vegetables. We use local businesses as much as possible. They have all served us well for a half century.
(Sunburg Daily Item, November 27, 2017)