Monday, November 25, 2013

A little tact helps when visiting out-of-town shops

Last month  I had two couples come into the shop.  They were from out-of-town.  One of the women was a needlepointer.  The others were just accompanying her.  They were from Phoenix.  Bit of background:  The LA Dodgers who had done spring training in Vero Beach from 1948 through 2008 are now spring training in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix.  Vero Beach has survived three hurricanes in the last 10 years and we have also survived the departure of the Dodgers.  But I don't want the husband of a potential customer to remind me of our pain and their gain.  For over 15 minutes--it seemed interminable.  I'm not a tactful person at the best of times and it was all I could do to maintain the Southern mantle of pleasantness when I really wanted to rip his heart out. I'm a business owner in a tourist area.  We get all kinds. But I'd rather they didn't rub salt in my retail wounds.  And all this while his wife wanted me to find an inexpensive "beach" canvas.

Note of interest:  Despite its name, Vero Beach isn't a "beach" community.  Customers don't shop in bathing suits covered by "cover-ups".  The condominiums and houses here aren't decorated in beachy decor. We're not Key West or the Bahamas.  We have second homes, not beach houses.

Trubey and I were season ticket holders for y-e-a-r-s to Dodger spring training games.  Our seats were on the first base line just by home plate--not protected by the screen.  Perfect seats for working on our tans and watching the planes take off and land at the local airport.  Needle Nicely advertised in the program (we had local bartenders doing needlepoint in the stands).  We ate Dodger dogs and ice cream sandwiches and even cotton candy (during love bug season--a really risky enterprise!).  Trubey's son even asked if we did anything but eat at the games--like watch them!  And, yes, we joined our friends every year at a local bar at 4:45pm on the day the Dodger plane left Vero after spring training.  It's a small enough town and the jet was large enough that we could hear when it took off.  We all did a shooter--"Glad you're gone, see you next year! I love you honey, but the season's over!!"  Vero was lucky, because the Dodgers were a class act.  And the locals respected that.  Very few of them interrupted the players at dinner or in their "down" time.  It was and is a nice community. 

But don't come visit and gloat because you are now the recipients of their reflected glory.  Trust me, if they get a better offer, Glendale, AZ,  will be left in the dust just as Vero Beach was.  Without a thought or remorse.  I like to think Vero saw the glory days of the Dodgers. And it was nice while it lasted.

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