Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Wertjes Uniforms: Open for business--Closed for the day
Today, while featuring this small storefront, I got a good sighting of the Cedar Falls Utilities' coal-burning smokestack through the partially leafless trees. Tucked into a neighborhood of houses, Wertjes is three blocks from my house and two blocks from the smokestack. It sells uniforms to policemen and firemen.
A cold front is forecast for the rest of the week. Taking advantage of what I assume to be the last Indian summer day, I set my stool up across the street. In the window, a handwritten sign stated they were closed for the day while the owner attended a police uniform show in Waterloo. A car parked and blocked my view; I asked the driver if she'd move back a bit and she did. I got sniffed by at least 4 dogs. One of the dog walkers, a man my age in his 60s, told me he'd grown up around the corner when Wertjes was a grocery store; he'd buy candy and bread there. The owner and her husband returned. After I'd packed up to go, they invited me to come inside. She bought the store 13 years ago from the Wertjes, who'd owned it for many years. The current owner just happened into it when she went to pick up a uniform for her police officer son and was told the business was for sale. Business is so good, she's thinking of bringing her son from Cincinnati, who just lost his job as a pilot, into the business. I'll have to go back and draw the inside, too. Obviously a thriving business, yet it looks like something from a bygone era.