I must respond to “After 63 years, Pleasantdale Kosher to close” (Dec. 28). My family moved to West Orange the year the market opened, and my mother was its second customer. I remember going there weekly, when I was a toddler, playing with the sawdust on the floor, and being mesmerized by the band saw that came down from the ceiling, grinding through thick bones as though they were paper.
My mother remained a customer for more than 60 years, forming friendships with Joe and Mimi Wallen, as well as with their two sons. It wasn’t until I left home for college that I found out most people bought meat in a grocery store, and that most people didn’t get invited to the simchas of their butcher’s family.
When I told my mother that the butcher market was closing, she was quiet, both of us realizing that something special to our family had ended.