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.


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