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As a periodic customer and nearby resident of Betty’s Resale Shop, I was very interested in the article “Trouble in Store” in the September 25 issue of the Reader. It was a well-written piece that offered views of both sides of an extremely important issue that is relevant in the ever-increasing gentrification of Chicago. When does a business become a nuisance to the neighborhood it inhabits? It’s a tricky question. I know what it is like to look out the window at something that appears haphazard and unpleasant. I also know what it is like to be inside your own home and hear someone outside shouting all day long. But that mess and shouting are exactly why Betty, or officially Mary Merker, should stay. Betty is one of those neighborhood characters who aren’t appreciated until they’re gone. It’s true that the shop needs to be more organized and the pickup trucks need to park somewhere else. (On Ravenswood possibly?) Betty said it herself: “We’re trying to cooperate.” Betty should be helped in a cleanup effort and allowed to stay. If you’ve never met her, stop by and enjoy the conversation while it lasts. You might even find something you like.

Bob Skupien

N. Damen