John Hooper — owner of Christie’s Country Store, the de facto community center on Cross Highway — reports:
I got up yesterday and wondered how I would get to the store. Irene had blocked most of the way down Congress Street and Cross Highway.
Sandy was a little kinder. At the top of the street she snapped the telephone pole workers replaced after Irene. But the rest was relatively smooth sailing.
I got there by 6:45. The generator was humming. I turned on the the ovens and coffee, and texted all my employees.
By 7:15, people started coming. Word must have gotten out because they didn’t stop.
Everyone was patient and grateful we were open. Eventually my wife and 10- year-old made it in to help. I was running from the grill to the cash register to the icebox (yes, we have ice).
At one point I looked up to see a customer and his girlfriend behind the counter making coffee. They didn’t leave their station for 2 hours!
It seemed like coffee, egg sandwiches and the cell phone charging station were the biggest hits.
Everyone was pleasant and understanding if things took a while. The last customer left about 7:30 p.m.
We are open now, with enough staff for normal breakfast and lunch. We hope to make a few dinner dishes for those who would like hot plates. We still have ice (a 2-bag limit, please). And yes, we even have a few D batteries as well.