LISTENING PROJECT: “It was an Everything Store”

When Patti and Gloria went to apply for a loan to start their store “the Cache”, the banker was dubious. The two women had no retail experience, eight kids between them, and besides they were related. Patti’s brother Dave was Gloria’s husband. They talked the banker into it anyway, and Patti says that in the sixteen years they ran their Main Street business, they never had an argument.

They had a lot of fun though, ordering everything from toys to office supplies to carpets and fabric. Once they even brought a Mynah bird back from Seattle.  I love the story about when they broughta big order of goldfish back from a buying trip, and little kids met them at the airport asking “Where are the FISH?”

Patti and Gloria had their office in the back of the store, now occupied by Lee’s Clothing. People often stopped by to chat, sitting on the old wooden steps. Mothers would stop and nurse babies, people would come talk about their lives, Patti and Gloria say “We were the Mental Health Center” in those days.

Sometimes Patti would experiment on her customers, observing their behavior when she played various music over the loudspeakers. She remembers watching them move faster and faster as she switched from a quiet Mantovani piece to a Souza March.

One of my favorite parts of this interview is about a road trip that Patti and Gloria took to Ohio. Patti bought a brand new turquoise station wagon, and the two women drove it back to Seattle. They were supposed to stop in Mandan, North Dakota to visit friend Lois Deboer’s mother, but Gloria had a great excuse as to why they rolled on past the exit and kept going. You can find this story in the excerpt. 

It is clear from listening to these two dear friends and sisters by marriage that their life together has had its fullmeasure of shared adventures and laughter.