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Old 11-29-2011, 08:26 PM   #16
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A time came when the shops needed to move----we were next to a bank and the were going to tear down the whole block to erect an new building---

My folks bought an amazing old building across the street---German Tudor with a slate roof--Stained glass windows painted over --all the old art deco brass and iron hidden under drop ceilings--1928-

10 foot tall basement--You wonder where I learned all the stuff jammed into my brain?

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Old 11-29-2011, 08:30 PM   #17
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liking this so far...
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:33 PM   #18
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You had to meet my dad to understand where I fit into this picture---

He had ideas--wild and interesting ideas that often went miserably wrong---

When I saw plans on his drafting table for the new kitchen there was an awful lot of space around it--
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:39 PM   #19
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I'm going to make this space into a restaurant----

"uh.dad,what do you know about running a restaurant?"

With a grin he said," Well, during the depression I worked in a soda fountain."

Oh,great---a deli--a gift shop --a catering business and now a restaurant?

I don't know why my mother stayed with him---pure crazy--
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:44 PM   #20
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Sorry folks--this is wandering a bit---let me get focused and I'll continue--
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:03 PM   #21
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Last story was great...

Please keep it going.

Nothing like a good, entertaining read.

-Andy
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:18 AM   #22
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The new shop was up and running---odd mix--but it worked--with a little tweaking---

We were winging it most of the time---When we bought items for the gift shop we always went for the best---There were just to many other places to shop---so we searched for the most authentic, often museum quality, arts available---

One evening just before closing a car pulled up to the front door and the Africans arrived.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:23 AM   #23
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"We have some carvings from Tanzania. Do you have time to look at them?'

This was the start of a 30 year friendship--an a door to a world that I found fascinating.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:36 AM   #24
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Go on!
RF
(Please!)
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:37 AM   #25
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They proceed to unload box after box of the finest carvings and jewelry--Batik fabrics and weaving that I had ever seen---

As we talked their story unfolded---Tanzania had recently had a change of government--

Those countries are always unstable and a bit dangerous --the new rulers closed the country--
and kicked out any citizen that had Indian heritage.

Yes, this couple were Indian---Born and raised in Tanzania but booted out none the less.

They were in a pickle---they had several businesses ,including a safari service, and the government had seized the businesses--paid them off---kicked them out of the country--

And told them the cash could not leave with them.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:53 AM   #26
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The only way for them to get their money out of the country was to spend it there and bring it out as merchandise.

They explained that Grand pa was allowed to stay--to old ,even for that cold hearted group,to force from his lifetime home.

Good news was Grand Pa was running the safari service --and had remarkable taste in arts.

This couple were fresh off the boat ,although good business minds,they were completely new to the gift ware business.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:58 AM   #27
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And?!?
(Sometimes you've got to "prod" it out of them!)
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:36 AM   #28
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I remember my father asking them if they were going to be in the Chicago Gift Show----

I still laugh when I think of their response." What's a gift show?'

---Well,My dad was a display man and one dandy merchandiser ---They got a spot at the show (which was sold out already) and father set up their displays---

They had remarkable success for a new player in the game----and became family friends---and eventually my employer.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:37 AM   #29
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Off to work----see you all later----Mike----
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:50 AM   #30
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Good luck!
Good "hunting"!
Stay safe!
RF

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