One of the delights of never having left town is that you really get to grow up with the people who never leave either. The whole thing. It's really wonderful.
My best pal from the Yankee Ridge years, all the way through Urbana High School, runs Beck's Country Shoppe, north on Route 45, a couple jogs past Napleton's Autopark on O'Brien Drive.
Here's an ad for their Grand Opening from 1976:
40 years in business.
His Dad, Ken, ran the joint up until a couple of years ago when he got sick, and passed away, all too young. He was such a stoic fella. And kind. Always, just the nicest. Even when you were in trouble, he had this little smile that reminded you that he wasn't all that pissed. At least, that's how I took it.
And now, he and his brother do the family business, and do it well.
It's true, they sell furniture. And if you want something made honestly, without sweatshop labor, they can get that for you. But there's no way to keep up when foreign made furniture at discount sellers like Ashley or Furniture Row have operations that drive the price that low.
No; today, primarily, Beck's runs the finest interior upholstering business in town. There's a wait, most times, for it. You wouldn't know it, because they don't advertise for it, but for real — especially in your car — if your kid takes a pencil or a pen or something and literally rips the shit out of your car seat, and you are all like "Dude. DUDE." Call them. They can fix that.
Anyhow, loved everything about this ad. Thought you all might, too.