Friday, January 12, 2007

Henry Goldberg's Parents

We live near a Jo-Ann store. It's chock full of everything the doityourself crafter (for the sort of crafts usually associated with women) needs to buy. Needles, threads, bangles, cloth, decorating objects, etc. etc, etc. Recently I visited a Jo-Ann Super Store that had the same sort of everything only it was four times larger, and covered every possible topic in spectacular detail. Wandering around, I felt like a kid in a giant toy store. What's not to admire in a great big place like this?

I looked through the section full of light, modeled plastic foam, all sorts of useful shapes and sizes, and then I remembered Henry Goldberg's parents. Henry was one of my friends in elementary school, and sometimes I spent the day with him at his parent's store. It was a mom & pop operation in a busy Long Island town, and they sold this stuff. I loved going into the back room with Henry and making up games using the decorations and the plastic foam swords, balls, flats and what have you. His parents didn't sell fabrics, but they had small selections of almost everything else Jo-Ann's sells, even the seasonal decorations.

I hope Henry's parents retired happily about thirty years ago, because they are exactly the sort of people whose businesses the Jo-Ann and Michael stores destroyed. You may think it was real hard to buy this stuff before those big stores showed up in our suburbs, but the crafters who needed these items knew where to find them, and chances are many of them knew to buy from Henry's parents.
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