Some people who have never been in the store are sad to see it close, too, because they like the store’s ever-changing sign out front that has featured jokes, witticisms and truisms for passers-by.
The Eagle did a story about the sign and it’s “folksy, philosophical tone” in 1997.
Sayings have included, “Those who stare at the past have their backs turned to the future” and “Happiness is not a station you arrive at but a manner of traveling” and “Lottery – a tax on people who don’t understand statistics.”
At the time, co-owner Ron Zerbe said the sign was so popular that customers sometimes stopped in with suggestions for it.
Lately, co-owner Steve Eilert says they’ve not been great about changing it.
“We did start slacking off,” he says.
Currently, the sign says, “A hometown business proud to serve a great hometown since 1946,” and that’s probably what will remain until the business closes in the next month or two.
“It’s probably appropriate for the moment,” Eilert says.
He says he and Zerbe have been hearing nice comments from a lot of customers and friends, even from some who were customers years and years ago.
“It’s a little bit like being awake at your own funeral, probably,” Eilert says. “As they file past, you just say goodbye.”
He says it’s too bad it doesn’t work that way in real life.
“That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”