In 1976, when H. Greenberg & Son came to North Adams, I was 7 years old almost to the day. We feared the day they opened because for many years, my father ran the lumberyard for K&K Home Mart, which was our home improvement store for many years. Whether the "new guys" were a factor in K&K closing it’s doors, I was too young to recall, but I do remember my dad talking about it and wondering if he would have a job.
What I do remember is Mr. Drew, the owner of K&K back then, letting my dad and everyone else know that things weren’t going well. My father and the other employees had a chance to look for other options.
There are other businesses, large and small, that have opened and closed in this city, obviously. However, this is the first time in my 43 years that I have heard of such a blatant disregard for the well-being of employees.
Yes, the times are tough ... but they are tough for everyone. And, yes, while this letter may be a bit premature, it is only so because the cowards at H. Greenberg & Son have not replied to any media requests or any of my phone calls at the time this letter is being written. They have said there will be a statement in a few days.
Whatever is said in that statement, however, cannot be good enough nor can it be trusted. The decision to close the doors was not made overnight. It was discussed, evaluated, discussed some more and then executed. There was ample opportunity for the decision-makers to let the community and, more importantly, the employees know what was coming.
I’m certain you will hear things like "the economy was the reason" and "this was a difficult decision." But no matter what, the underlying principle remains -- they left local families in the lurch with no chance to prepare.
I say they should be ashamed of themselves. This community supported them for almost 40 years. They could have and should have done the decent thing.
Brian L. Flagg