Saturday, April 20, 2013

So long, old friend

Today, I managed to make one more stop at Paddletown Hardware before it will close forever later this month.  We were up at our cottage this weekend to have internet, TV and a telephone line installed.  Technically, the lines for all three items are already installed, we just had them all activated.  We went to Harrisville for lunch at our favorite restaurant, The Old Place.  

After lunch, I dropped Deirdre off at our cottage and I drove back into town to pick up some cash, buy Powerball ticket, and stop by Paddletown Hardware one last time.

This store has been a mainstay in Oscoda since 1937.  Soon it will be gone.

The discounts on all items are now 50% off listed price...

I strolled into Paddeltown Hardware to take in the moment, as well as to look and see if there was anything I needed.  The store had been pretty well picked over, but I managed to find a hammer and a CFL light bulb.  I actually needed a new hammer, and the light bulb was an added bonus.  The rest of the hardware and supplies there were not anything that I needed.

When I was wandering round, I saw an open door that lead to an office.  Tom Ruedisueli, the owner was sitting at a desk and he answered a phone call.  I waited outside the office until the call ended and I introduced myself to him.  The conversation went like this:

Me:  Hello.
Tom:  Hello.
Me:  You don't know me, but I am Paul Kratochwill.  I wanted to let you know how sorry I am that your store is closing.
Tom:  Yeah, we did our best.
Me:  We bought a cottage about 2 miles south of the Au Sable River in 2010 and we have been coming here for all of our hardware needs since then.  Your staff has always been the so helpful and friendly.
Tom:  Thanks for the kind words.  It had been tough the past few years, but the road construction on US-23 last year did us in.
Me:  Again, I am so sorry about your store closing.
Tom:  Thanks for the kind words.  I really appreciate it.

And that was it.  I took my hammer and light bulb to the check out and I was warmly greeted by the cashier who is losing his job in a few days, and I spent the last $10.40 I will ever spend at Paddletown Hardware.

So long, and thanks for everything you did for the community for over 75 years.


Gary(canoeist) said...

It is a sad time for Tom, Karen,and Oscoda. This sort of thing can happen, but shouldn't. Our economy is very fragile. Special interests of small town politics can choke a town to death.

Paul's Blog said...

Gary, what do you mean about "small town politics?"

Ur-spo said...

these closings are sad tales, indeed.