Why am I up at midnight?

Because I fell asleep about 8:30 on the couch.  Just woke up, and before I try to go back to bed..(fighting the urge to open the store)..I thought I’d jot down a few memories from today.

We had two ladies happen to meet in the parking lot, cousins…they each are return customers and each had nice things to say about the store.

Had one guy come in, we talked while he shopped and he saw many things that reminded him of his past.  He spoke about dime stores in Pekin, Mauries back in the day, other places…snack counters in many stores where as a kid his Mom and he would enjoy a lunch.  Honestly he sounded like someone who just walked out of our “philosophy” page on the website!  He didn’t find anything to buy…but I invited him to come in anytime to shop, he said he really likes the store and is glad we are here.  He’s going to let people know about us.

Another fellow came in later, and bought a couple items, one each from two brand new vendors that just signed up with us.  He complimented the store and spoke of how he’d been “roughed up” a bit by a lady at another store who was unhappy when he mentioned the price she was asking for an item was too high.  The guy was just looking for items he collects…he knows their value.  One thing he bought today wasn’t even on his “collection” type list..just something he liked.  He liked alot of other items and was considering buying more.  I don’t push sales…so I let him decide without pressure.  He’s coming back, a nice guy…another regular I’m sure.  But more importantly…he was happy with his experience and he didn’t feel feel like I’d pushed anything at him.

A younger customer came in.  She was tired, just got off work.  Just wanted to shop.  She said she walked from home (doesn’t have a car) to have someplace to go.  Honestly…I think it is crummy that she has to walk across downtown to get to a store just to window shop and feel good about it.  But at least she had a place to go and someday, someday like many young people who are struggling these days maybe she’ll find herself at a better job and be able to do more than just look!  She’s welcome to window shop anytime.  (She’s bought a few things on other visits…big purchases to her I’m sure..and that means something, they’re big purchases to me too.)

And finally a guy came in who has purchased from us before.  He still hasn’t forgotten how I kind of “helped” hold onto a lamp he wanted until he could pay for it.  I don’t remember if he bought today, or was just looking.  But on the way out he turned around and said, “I like this store.”

That was one day!  And believe me, I’ve skipped many of the compliments and kind words and best wishes that went on between the ones I mentioned.

So I woke up and yeah I was tired..it was a busy day, and I fell asleep on the couch again.  But after recalling the kind of day it was…is it any wonder I feel like opening the store again, right now. 

Ya see….people are believe it or not still human beings.  They get tossed about in today’s world…stress from work, can’t cross a street without wondering if the next driver has gone berserk or not, got bills on bills…or sick family…mostly they have the kind of things people always had but between then and now the places to be that offer a break from the crud have kind of disappeared.

I’m no genious.  I think I hit on something with this store because I too got tired of getting tossed about and missed the days when people acted like they cared about each other.  It was a neat little accident but I think the best thing I have going for me is the big white flag in my brain that says, “Truce!  I’m taking a break from the crud and anyone in this store is welcome to pretend it is still the good old days in here!”

Well, something is working.  And not just because of the feelings customers are getting that are strong enough for them to comment, compliment, and return again and again….but also because I FEEL like opening the store at midnight, 12:30am now, because I like it there as well. 

Whatever it is about the store that is giving the customers a good feeling about the place.  I wish I could tell them all that they’re giving me the same feelings right back.  Now maybe if we only had a snack counter as well…a cheeseburger and a shake sound good.   



Busy Sunday!

It was fun watching the customers find treasures all day!  We had some great shoppers and one thing that has been neat is how many are young folks!

We getting much more interest in the shelves…have anotehr new vendor moving in on Tuesday or Wednesday…and had several more inquiring.

The store is looking full.  Tomorrow turns out to be some what of a day off as the brochures I expected to deliver to area hotels are not ready yet. 

An old friend stopping by tomorrow!

Folks who knew me (Dan), us (Debi and I), well..folks who knew us before we opened “Spirit of the Past Antiques” know how proud we were of researching local history and ancestry and stuff like that.  We’ve got a little collection of “Circleville” relics in the living room and I can tell stories about Wyllis Cooper (my personal hometown hero…yeah I call Pekin my adopted hometown..get to know it, really know it, it’s a nice place.) anyway people who knew Debi and I before we started the store know we liked trying to help out the Tazewell County Museum and Educational Center when we could.

We gave them some Circleville stuff…and I donated my research on Wyllis Cooper…we were helping with their research on War of 1812 veterans when starting “Spirit of the Past Antiques” took all our time and we had to drop our offer of help.

But we wanted to stay involved.  So once a month we hold a silent auction at the store and donate the proceeds to the museum’s building fund.  If it helps them get a home to display their items…let the kids in the county learn a little history…that’s all we want out of it.

But, sometimes things come back in a good way!  Museum volunteers and the Director are stopping by tomorrow and are going to interview me, take a picture of me handing a proceeds check to the Director…and do a little piece on us for their website.  There is a chance it could make the local paper!  Keep your fingers crossed.  I wouldn’t mind free publicity!

Make it to the paper or not…it is nice to have a friend in the museum.  It doesn’t hurt a bit to stay involved in the community.

My sister Betty went and had a birthday!

Just when I thought I was catching up, she jumps another year ahead!

Betty is the oldest, and I’m the youngest, of seven kids.  We are twenty years apart in age.  Yesterday I was a little kid visiting her home, there was always something neat to do…and Betty always knew the best places for ice cream, movies…that kind of thing.

Then one morning I woke up and now I’m 51! 

Happens to all of us.