My office, which used to be in a tiny corner of the warehouses in Kidron, is now about five miles north, along with our warehouses and several dozen administrative staff. Even though our World Headquarters (as we jokingly call it) is off site, I still make sure I get down to the store several times a week. Sometime I have to park in the cow pasture (I am serious — watch your step!) and as I hoof it into the store, I glance at all the license plates in our parking lots. Texas, California, Florida, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, of course Ohio, Washington, Montana — this was on one day, folks. The most interesting one was a lovely red BMW with Hawaii plates. I wish I had taken a picture of it. How did it get here? Plane? Boat? It certainly didn’t look like one of those hydrocars.
It’s all informal surveying, but after I check out the license plates (something, by the way, my Dad has elevated to a science) I take a moment to check out the guest book, that stands unassumedly in the lobby of our 1840s era barn. I also keep my ears open for comments that customers make. I thought you might find them interesting, too.
- This is where the new merges with the old and years hold many memories
- Mommy, is this a store or a museum?
- This is the Rolls Royce of hardware stores.
- Thanks for doing your part to save the earth
- You were green before green was in
- I’ve never seen anything like this!
- They could charge admission for this place (we don’t, by the way)
- There’s nothing like this in my country. (from a woman visiting from Japan)
- I make it a point to visit every year. (lives in Texas)
- My Dad [or uncle, or brother-in-law or insert other relative’s name here] would love this place.
- Lehman’s hardware rocks (presumably from a teenage visitor, but who knows)
- Every member of our family, from grandpa to little Timmy, can find something they love at Lehman’s
- My husband was late to his own wedding because he couldn’t leave this store.
- I was on a missions trip in Eastern Europe and we found your catalog in a remote orphanage in Russia
- Thanks for your water filters, which we use to purify post-operative IV solutions (from a doctor in West Africa, via e-mail)
- Finally found the pieces to repair my grandmother’s oil lamp — now we can use it every day