Letters to the editor

Boston Globe Magazine readers respond to stories on the closure of the Johnnie’s Foodmaster in Somerville and outsourcing parenting.

Gracia Lam for the boston globe


So good to read Daniel Todd Gewertz’s swan song to Johnnie’s Foodmaster (Connections, February 17). Its closing is the end of an era and of a certain kind of grocery store. And Gewertz is so right: The employees were an odd mix, and yet some of them were extraordinarily helpful. It was a no-frills neighborhood grocery store — and a vanishing breed. Rest in peace, Johnnie’s Foodmaster.

Molly Ruggles / Somerville



Johnny’s was a neighborhood store that we all appreciated. Whole Foods’ prices and products will not cater to those in the store’s Somerville-area neighborhood on limited incomes. Never thought I’d feel sad about an old-time market, but I do.

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Mary Alice Harrington / Cambridge


I, too, miss Johnnie’s, but mine was in Whitman. It was my favorite place to shop. It may have been a bit run-down, but what is not around here? I miss the people working there and the great prices.

Ellie Flynn / Whitman



I continue to tell my husband “I’m going to Johnnie’s,” even though the Johnnie’s on Salem Street in Medford is now a Stop & Shop. Prior to the switch, I had urged the Stop & Shop transition team to retain as many of Johnnie’s employees as possible. Now, as I search Stop & Shop for items, I also look for familiar faces. Thankfully, I can count on finding our beloved Charlie in the checkout area.

Judy Dudek / Medford



In her essay “Being There,” Laurie Swope argues that we have outsourced parenting (Perspective, February 10). Swope, who writes about teaching her sons to ski rather than sending them to ski school, conflates overscheduling with “outsourcing.” Signing your kids up for too many activities is not the same as deciding there are others who can teach your child better than you can. I do not home-school. Although I swam competitively, I elected to take my kids to the YMCA for lessons. And despite the fact that I’ve been to competitive racing school, the state tells me I must send my kids to driving school if they want their licenses at 16½. Surely it’s a burden to ask your child, as Swope does, to choose between his parents and a ski instructor. As parents, it’s our job to decide who their teachers should be, not theirs.


Rebecca Donham / Holliston


When I enroll my son in enrichment classes, it has nothing to do with pushing him to perfection. While I’m at work, I like knowing he is somewhere safe. I like knowing he is learning things in which he has an interest but for which I haven’t the particular skills or equipment to teach him. I like knowing he is meeting lots of other kids who have similar interests. I like knowing that he is being exposed to ideas, expectations, and teaching styles that are different from the ones he gets in the classroom. Whether you decide to put your kids in ski lessons so you can enjoy a couple of hours of skiing on your own or decide to strap them into a BabyBjorn till they’re 8 is up to you. Just don’t pile guilt and blame on parents who make a different choice. Don’t we moms and dads carry enough guilt on our own? 

Diana Direiter / Quincy

COMMENTS?Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.