Luverne says goodbye to an old friend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Friday, July 28, will be a sad day for South Forest Avenue in downtown Luverne as Manager Johnny Jones will be closing the doors of Crenshaw County Hardware. The store will then be put up for sale.

Anybody who has traveled down the main street in Luverne has seen that friendly wave and has heard that familiar, &#8220Hey!” from Jones over the last 11 years.

&#8220I'm going to really miss the people, waving at folks and talking with them,” Jones said. &#8220You know, after 25 years of being in the hardware business, people will call me on the phone to ask for help with anything they might need.”

&#8220Some of them think I'm the telephone book, too,” he laughed.

Jones has been the manager at Crenshaw County Hardware since June 1, 1995. Before that, he spent 14 years at Luverne Hardware.

&#8220My father hired me almost 25 years ago at Luverne Hardware, and that's how I got started in the business,” Jones said.

Jones' father, the Rev. J.L. Jones, is just as sad to see the doors closing to the business.

&#8220I'm going to miss coming up here to read the paper and see the people every day,” the Rev. Jones said. He is also affectionately known as &#8220Preacher Jones.”

&#8220Preacher Jones” said that he hired his son first and then &#8220he put me to work later on,” he laughed. &#8220I think a whole lot of people are going to miss him,” his father said.

Charles &#8220Kayo” Sipper agreed.

&#8220This is like the end of an era here,” Sipper said. &#8220There's no other place like it in LuverneŠit's sort of sad. It just won't be the same.”

Sipper's face brightened as he looked up and laughed, &#8220I wonder what they're going to do with all these nails in the walls?”

Jones said that probably one of the funniest things that ever happened to him in the store was while he was making a key.

&#8220Making a key makes a lot of racket,” he said. &#8220Well, this lady was trying to pull into a parking place on the side of the building, and her foot slipped off the gas, and the car hit the wall of the store.”

”Cookie tins fell off the wall and started hitting the floor, and I almost ran out of here,” Jones said, laughing.

&#8220I've had a lot of good times hereŠprobably someone from every state in the Union has been in here. We're like the barber shop, I guess,Š.a lot of tall tales have been told in here.”

&#8220I've enjoyed it, and I'm sure going to miss it,” Jones said.