CHAPS event; Third Thursday

One more dose of ink for a good cause…… Come Saturday, it’s “Day at the Derby,” a fundraiser for the CHAPS Equine Assisted Therapy Center. There will be auctions, raffles, Kentucky Derby type food (the races will be broadcast), lovely ladies in hats, a master of ceremonies (Roger St. Clair) and much more.

The CHAPS center is a ministry worth supporting, led by executive director Sue Suddith. The fun starts at 1 p.m., at the ever-popular, award-winning Blacktooth Brewing Company in Historic Downtown Sheridan.

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Looking ahead to June, the popular Third Thursday Street Festival will launch its four-event run on Thursday, June 20. No doubt there will be live music, booths, exhibits and a whole lot of catching up between friends and neighbors therein the closed-off blocks of Historic Downtown Sheridan.

Third Thursday is one of the showcase events for the Downtown Sheridan Association, a diverse membership of 140-plus. It was formed in 1985 to promote downtown.

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Which reminds of a favorite shopping anecdote…….

For 12 years in the 1980s and 1990s, I was the publisher of the Roanoke Rapids (NC) Daily Herald and had the good fortune to become friends with the manager of the city’s largest department store. It was part of the Belk/Leggett group of retailers in the southeast. Similar to Sheridan, the city’s population is 17,000.

E.R. “Rudy” Williams was simply a fount of retailing and advertising counsel and it was just best to listen while in conversation. Rudy grew up there, married his childhood girlfriend, went off to WWII and flew P-51 fighter planes in support of American bombers over Nazi Germany. He recorded four “kills,” just one short of being an ace. He was proud of the fact that he could still get into his flight jacket well into his 60s.

The subject then of shopping included catalogues. I’m sure if he were alive today, we’d talk about the Internet, a media that has altered the retail landscape. Rudy believed still in the premise of “shopping” — the interaction of customers, clerks and other customers; the “feel” of the merchandise, how well a store is lighted, how attractive the displays are. “People shop because they want to see other people shop. They talk to one another and often, buy something. It’s a social experience as much as anything.”

Rudy had three rules of retailing:

1. Give the Lady What She Wants.

2. Give the Lady What She Wants.

3. Give the Lady What She Wants.

Rudy was seldom in his office. Most of the time on the floor greeting customers, wearing a sharp, attractive suit and tie, always buttoned. He embodied small-city retailing. No doubt Sheridan has many good merchants of his ilk and manner.

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Shop Sheridan, this weekend!

 

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