Three times no thanks
From the reporter's notebook
Last updated 11/8/2023 at 2:48pm
I first met Mr. Sis when I took my shoes in to get them half-soled.
Sims had the local shoe repair shop in Palouse.
His daughter Delores was in my class at school and a close friend of mine. Not of the dating kind of friend, just a friend.
Mr. Sims visited with me for quite a while, which surprised me, but I thought it was probably because Delores knew me.
When I returned to pick up my shoes, he took some time visiting with me and asking a lot of questions.
Then he suggested that when I wasn’t busy some afternoon to drop by his shop.
I’m still thinking this was a little odd. But one afternoon I decided to do so. Sims turned off his equipment and sat down and visited a spell. That’s when a nice friendship started. He asked if I would like to help him. I said sure.
He made shoes for loggers and said if I wanted to I could cut out leather patterns for his shoes.
I did this on several occasions, and as I recall it was fun. I watched him take the patterns and make logging boots.
I was invited a couple of times for dinner.
Soon after I graduated, I left the community to pursue my ambitions, but when I returned home to visit I would stop by and say hello to Mr. Sims.
Many years later, I thought of Delores and found out she lived in Moscow.
I gave her a call and asked her to meet me and my wife for breakfast during the Palouse Day’s celebration. I hadn’t seen her or heard about her for maybe 40 years. We had a great visit about old times and I learned that she had married a farmer I knew.
Years later, I received word that she had died from cancer, and I had a message from Mr. Sims, who said he was going to retire and asked if I would be interested in acquiring his shoe repair shop. He said he would train me and make it financially easy on me.
I had already established myself in running a newspaper, so I said no thanks.
A similar thing happened at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store where I worked during my junior and senior years. My boss at the time was preparing to retire and didn’t have any offerings to buy the store.
He and I got along well and he took me under his wings and taught me a lot about the grocery business.
It was another no. I had been sufficiently bitten by the journalism bug.
A third time I was informed that the owner of the Palouse Republic was retiring and asked if I would be interested in returning home and buying the paper.
The publisher lived next door to us during my grade school days and I knew him well.
But the paper was small, and I was well established where I was, in Bothell.
While I was struck by the offerings, I had no desire to return home for any of these opportunities. The paper has since ceased publication.