Dec 7 – Then and Now

Hello to my friends, supporters, and fellow business owners. Today we need to talk about December 7, “…a day that will live in infamy.”  It was on December 7 that we were attacked by the Empire of Japan and the day that our nation was plunged into a world war. That day needs to always be remembered, and we remember and pray-for those who were lost.

December 7 is also a day to remember because it was a day when a generous and wonderful business in Salem, MA. lost its bid to remain as a cherished contributor to our city. It was on December 7 that a court order was issued that closed the Victoria Station Restaurant just across the street from our former location. The company that mismanages Pickering Wharf closed the building just days before a major children’s charity was to have taken place. Could such an order have been delayed? Of course, but to paraphrase an item from the Salem Evening News, all was legal, and the likes of what one might expect from Ebenezer Scrooge.

Mr. Basanti, owner of Victoria Station was very kind to us. Just a few months after I opened my shop, a frozen pipe burst on February 14, 2013, the ceiling fell in, and the place flooded. When a premature end to my efforts was at hand, Victoria Station generously allowed me to use their small function room to continue my readings while repairs were made on MY INSURANCE, and not at the expense of the property management company. When I offered to pay Victoria Station for the use of their space, they refused, asserting that as a fellow business, we all had to stick together. We certainly agreed. Victoria Station also provided us with space for our own charity fundraisers for the St Jude Hospital for Children, and as class space for my students.

Indeed, before we moved from Pickering Wharf we suffered rain water leaks for months that damaged the interior again. While it was repaired MONTHS LATER the decision to move was already in motion.

The court order’s timing that locked the building is horrific. A major children’s charity would loose out, and so many wonderful and generous employees would be out of work, just days before the holiday season. Many business people in Salem have commented to me that this is a well-established fact of how business is conducted there. Based on our own experience and that of our former abutting neighbors, we have to whole-heartedly agree.

Thankfully the Hawthorne Hotel has generously offered to fill-in for the Salem Children’s Charity. In that vein, we will also do the same and will have a charity donation box set up when we host Santa Claus at our shop at 107 Federal St, on Sunday, Dec 17 from 12 pm to 6 pm. We will see to it that clothing and other items make its way to those in need. I have also donated 20-card readings from the shop to be auctioned off for this good cause.

The City of Salem is at a transition point. As business owners we all benefit from each other, and our clientele benefit from good business practices which needs to include good property owners. There is no good to be had from a carpet-bagger mentality that could ruin local business. We hope and pray that Mr. Basanti can recover from this situation and Victoria Station can resume again, if not in the current location, someplace nearby. We will all benefit from his business acumen and generosity.

Blessings to you all.