Dear Editor,

A reply to Mr. Massingham: In your first letter, you were most disturbed because the store did not have any product in the paper goods aisle. We have heard the word “essential” regarding the services and products we need during this pandemic situation. Essentially, we do not need the paper products in the paper goods aisle. As far as toilet paper goes, it is a non-essential item, as are paper towels, paper plates, etc. Our grandparents went without growing up and the Sears Catalog was quite useful to some. I was not aware of the toilet paper fiasco until too late. I was down to 3 rolls and put it on the list to buy. There was none to be had. A friend of mine related that she grew up without, partly because she was on a farm. I remember one set of my grandparents also still using an outhouse as well. Well, I started saving the junk mail and any paper I received, including the Pilot. Cutting it up, it saved me for about a week at a time. Rags to clean, cloth napkins to dine were always used by my mom, not paper goods. Last week, there were a couple cases of cheaper paper towels on the Wal-Mart shelves, so decided to spoil myself and bought one roll. No more cutting up paper for a while. M. Massingham, I still have two rolls left after a month or more. So, please, don’t start accusing me of being the problem. I was trying to be polite, as I do shop in grocery stores, like most other people, but I am not demanding they have paper goods on the shelf because I’m a senior.

Maybe I did miss your point as you say in your second letter. Apparently, you think, because you are a senior, as most of us here are, the stores should have whatever you need up on the shelves on that senior day. My first thought is if they did your bidding, say as in toilet paper, then some one else is going to complain because it wasn’t their brand, color or ply. This goes for most any product. I’m guessing that now, in this virus environment, that they are not going to do that. Stores are short of help, plus most grocery stores rely on outside merchandisers to bring in and stock the shelves with their company’s product. Did I read recently that Wal-Mart is trying to hire 150,000 people to help out? I imagine HEB is in the same fix. The people I’ve seen putting product out are stocking as fast as they can to get food, etc. on the shelves. For awhile, it has been a never ending battle, but they’re are trying and I appreciate their efforts.

In the second letter, you kept saying “produce” or “product,” so not too sure which you were referring to, but I have had no problem with getting produce in either store here. Food is the essential grocery item in these stores, as is medication.

You probably have noticed that both big stores here are now having lines to enter the store as well. Part of the practice is to give us clean baskets and allow us to use hand sanitizer to keep safe. That takes more employees away from stocking paper goods for seniors. Frankly, between trying to put edible product out and keeping us safe, I’ll still cut up the Rockport Pilot to use elsewhere ... sorry Mike.

Roberta Cox

(Editor’s note: No need to apologize. I’m glad we can be of service to our readers!)

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