A Dollar a Leg
WHEN FRED LITTLE in “Suncoast Amateur” referred to my talents as a businessman and salesman he only knew half of the story. He was telling the tale of how I sold a two-pant suit to the young widow to bury her rich old husband. That was pretty good selling, but not nearly as good as the time that I rented the full dress tuxedo with all the furnishings to the family that wanted to bury the old man in style. At twenty-seven bucks a month that adds up to eleven thousand, nine hundred eighty-eight in thirty-seven years.
Things haven’t always been that prosperous around here, and right now retailing is “not so hot,” in the Great Southwest. Time was when it was lots of fun though. Most recently, five or six years ago, it was a common experience to sell one of each color and six white “Polo” shirts to a rich “Oilie.” That usually came to a thousand or more. It still is not too rare for us to sell five or six of our “Hickey-Freeman” suits to a customer at an average price of seven fifty. Not long ago we sold two cashmere sportcoats for twenty-five hundred each.
I’ll never forget the time I bought a factory close-out of boys winter coats. There were at least twenty-five-hundred of them and we sold half of them in one day in July. That, my friends, was selling! We wrote a guarantee with each coat that it would fit by the first cold wave. One kid grew six inches in three months.
My first Mercedes was bought with profit made from a “Fake Fur Coat” we called a “Wooly-Booger.” We sold them by the zillions. Every week we’d re-order a bunch of them. They came in immense boxes; too big for the freight elevator, so we unpacked the shipment in the alley behind the store. It’s a good thing; those boxes were a bit smelly when opened.
Then there was the summer I worked for my uncle in his mens clothing store on Main Street. I was probably fourteen or so. We had a sale on summer pants. We sold them for “A Dollar A Leg, Seats Free.” I don’t remember how many we sold, but it must have run into the thousands. I sold a man with only one leg six pair for a buck each.
I also sold six pair of these “wash pants” to “Alfalfa Bill” Murray who holds the honor of being the most colorful and the most foul of all of the State Governors in the history of Oklahoma! He was the nastiest man I have ever seen. He chewed tobacco, and it covered his mustache, face and clothing. He didn’t smell too good either!
Selling him anything took talent!
Retailing is a “fun” profession, and it has been good as well as bad – happily it is slowly improving in the energy states. The fun is serving the public; and I know that next week some guy is going to bring in a suit he has had for ten years to tell me the pants are not wearing “so hot.”
One Publisher to Another
Among the guests at Robin’s wedding were a charming young couple and their ten year old son from Dallas.
While making small talk at one of the parties I asked this young man what he did for a living. “I publish a newspaper,” he said. – “What a coincidence, I do too.” “Mine is The Flexible Voice, what’s yours?”
“I own The Dallas Morning News.”
Well it’s not often that two of the most important publishers get together, and we had a good time talking about the newspaper business. When my friend said that he wanted to do a story on amateur journalism, I told him to “fire away.”
Yesterday the number one feature writer came up for the interview. What was scheduled to be a short visit lasted five hours.
It should be a helluva article.
I have asked for a couple hundred copies.
Published by Rob’t Orbach, Oklahoma City, Ok. 73116