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Ted Reinstein presenting on general stores

Ted Reinstein returns to the Walpole Public Library with his latest book, “New England’s General Stores”, on Tuesday evening, November 7, at 7:00, in the Community Room. As part of the Author Series sponsored by the Friends of the Walpole Public Library, admission is free and all are welcome. More details are available at

The general store, as old as America itself, harkens back to a simpler time and a more innocent and rural nation. It was a homey and familiar place where you could buy the paper, penny candy, four-penny nails, or simply tarry on a cold winter morning over a cup of hot coffee with a neighbor or two. Long before “Cheers,” the general store was the vital and inviting heart of a community, where everyone not only knew your name, but how you took that coffee, how many kids you had, and how’s your dad doing, anyway? Then came a more urbanized and more mobile America, the rise of the chain stores, and then their giant offshoots, the big boxes. General stores seemed doomed, and many were. But a funny thing happened on the way to extinction: a renaissance.

In their book, co-authors Ted Reinstein and former ABC journalist Anne-Marie Dorning profile some of New England’s most beloved and longtime landmark stores, many of which have played out a real-life “Rocky,” rising up from the retail mat against seemingly overwhelming odds. It turns out that neighbors actually miss meeting up in the neighborhood. When it comes to a genuine gathering place, Costco doesn’t really cut it. But a general store still does. “New England’s General Stores: Exploring an American Classic” looks at how, where, and why this has all happened, by focusing on individual historic stores and their still-unfolding stories.

Ted Reinstein is best known in New England as a journalist and reporter for ‘Chronicle’, Boston’s celebrated (and America’s longest-running, locally-produced) TV news-magazine. In 2002, he was part of the ‘Chronicle’ team honored with a prestigious national DuPont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Award, for their coverage of Boston’s controversial “Big Dig,” the nation’s largest-ever public works project. While he also appears in the studio at the anchor desk or delivering an opinion commentary, it’s out in the field where viewers are most familiar seeing Ted. From every corner of New England, he’s found the offbeat, the unique, the moving, and the just plain memorable, all while telling the enduringly colorful stories of the region’s people and places.

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