Praise for my wife?s resilience

My wife, Nancy, doesn?t know about this, but I am going to sing her praises and write about her past 27 years in the retail clothing business.

I am fairly resilient, but nothing like her. For the entire time, her store has never been closed for any reason?except for one day when there was no power downtown. That?s over 27 years!

Nancy has traveled to Dallas, Kansas City, New York City, Atlanta and Los Angeles to find fashions to sell locally. Not just a time or two, but more like hundreds of times. Add to that the numerous times sales people have stopped in to show her their lines.

While most small independent stores like hers have closed over the past five to 10 years, she is one of the last ones standing.

Early on, maybe about 1990, she met with another store owner with a dress shop from Anthony, whom she learned to know and shared ideas back and forth from then until now.

I used to go on buying trips to Dallas to the huge apparel market where they also had men?s lines. That was before the Free Press, and after that I wasn?t able to go along anymore be?cause of the time it took.

While there, I was able to buy samples from the men?s showrooms, which was pretty handy. She also was able to buy sample shoes because the sample sizes were her size.

Nancy didn?t decide to retire because business was bad, but more because the daily grind has taken a toll.

Until this year, she has worked every Christmas Eve for 26 years. I think she deserves some time for herself, don?t you? She is a real trooper and I can?t think of another I would rather have looking out for me, which she also has done during the past few decades.

She stayed open later than stores most because in retail the best sales can be at day?s end.

I?ll be glad to have her back, but I also know I will have to find things to do that don?t have me in the house.


You will probably believe what I am about to write, but I still do not know how it could have happened.

This past Saturday I was hauling away some bran?ches from the ice storm for some neighbors. Because they had placed theirs in the alley, and the city required branches to be on the front curb, it just made sense for me to take them to the tree dump.

While unloading them, a wild branch flipped my lens covers to the ground. Not realizing that my real eyeglasses went down with them, I put the lens covers back on.

When I went back to town to see a friend?s booth at Olde Towne, I was asked what had happened to my glasses. I felt my face and realized they must be living out at the burn site.

So I went back and, of course, without glasses, I couldn?t see them. My thanks to a guy named Juan who spotted them on the ground. Luckily I hadn?t stepped on them before they were found.


If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@