by Rita Hooper
Today is Small Business Saturday. It’s a day to patronize your local merchant – that small business guy or gal who is there when you need them, and has even been known to open up his shop when you had an emergency.
They take your check and call you by name. You may spend a little more for their service but not necessarily. You don’t have to walk a mile to find what you want and if they haven’t got it, they will tell you – they will also special order it if they can or tell you where you can get it. They pay their employees fairly and work around family schedules and emergencies.
I can walk down my hometown main street and still tell you the name of the merchants – Mr. Wymperl owned the meat market with the sawdust on the white and black tiled floor. Mr. and Mrs. Zahender owned the Emily Carol Dress Shop – where you always got a second and third opinion on how the dress looked on you.
The Glukaufs owned the drycleaners where I had my wedding dress hemmed and Larry Bauman ran the other drycleaner. John had a small fresh fruit and vegetable store again with the sawdust on the floor, a wooden floor. John always polished his apples and stacked them like you see in pictures – I can see him now as he cuts an orange open for you to have a smell and a taste.
Manhattan Market – the local grocery store where my grandmother would send me on Saturday morning for 50 cents worth of salt pork. Marino’s Fish Market where I worked summers – Grandpop (not mine) had started the business 50 years previously on a push cart and still showed up everyday for work! There was Kortlander’s Liquor Store and Gillard’s Drugstore complete with a soda fountain. The Weiner Brothers had the stationary store and Dick ran the luncheonette with homemade ice cream and the best black and white sodas in town.
I can’t forget Harry Seamen’s toy store – the Village Toy Mart. At Christmas time he had a huge train display set up – and you could stay all day if you wanted to watch the trains go round. They put out steam too! Thurstons had the bike repair and sales. Harrick Press was my cousins print shop…they could cut cross lots and have lunch with their mom.
These folks formed the local business association and met monthly to see how they could help each other and promote local business. It was a sad day when the Toy Mart moved out to the Miracle Mile, that was when strip malls was becoming popular back in the 50’s.
It was the business folk who bought the decorations for the holidays at the park and bought Santa to town. It was the business folk who bought American flags to be displayed outside their place of business and decorate main street on Memorial Day.
I wish my grandchildren could have those memories. I remember speaking with Mayor Allerton maybe five years ago and she shared similar memories with me. I have heard people talk about the Dizzy Block in Fulton. Those small merchants are good for our community. They deserve our support.
This weekend and on through the Christmas season, patronize your local merchant.
Our small merchants are there for us and support many community activities and events – be there for them…not just for them but for yourself and your neighbors. They don’t have to hire greeters – they do it themselves!
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The menu for the Senior Meals program this week will be sweet sausage with onions and peppers Monday and ham steak and scalloped potatoes Wednesday. Friday, they will be serving tuna salad sandwiches and creamed soup. Lunch is served at noon but the center opens early for cards and other games.
Monday, there will be a presentation on fall prevention. Blood pressures will be taken Wednesday. The coffee is ready and waiting for you! Call Rosemary at 564-5471 to make your reservation. The Senior Center in the Library/Community Center Building on Oswego St. across from the Fire House.
The Jammers meet this Monday at 7 p.m. at the American Legion. If you enjoy country music, come on over and sit a spell!
Christmas Bureau applications may be picked up in the School Nurse’s Offices or at any of the Hannibal Churches. Deadline is Dec. 7. No applications will be accepted after that date. Anyone who would like to help out is asked to call 546-7916.
If you would like to volunteer your time to deliver Hannibal Christmas Bureau Boxes Dec. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon, please call 564-7916. Two students will be assigned to go with each driver.