My Dewey moment and the Newtown Hardware House
Everyone remembers the famous photo of newly-elected President Harry S. Truman holding up a copy of a newspaper proclaiming, “Dewey defeats Truman.” It was a famously inaccurate banner headline on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on Nov. 3, 1948, the day after incumbent United States President Harry S. Truman beat Republican challenger and Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election in an upset victory.
Well, my Dewey moment came last Thursday with a front page article in The Advance of Bucks County proclaiming the early demise of the Newtown Hardware House.
Even as I was putting the paper to bed, business RwnHU DDYH CDOODhDn wDs finDOLzLnJ D GHDO WR sHOO WhH business to a Newtown Borough resident who plans on keeping the business open. I say, “It couldn’t have happen to a nicer guy.” Dave has put his heart and soul into the business and has struggled to keep it alive for his employees and for his customers. And this 12th hour turn of events is about the best news that could have come out of this, especially for our State Street business community.
But that doesn’t excuse my rush to tell a story that wDsn’W TuLWH UHDGy WR EH WROG. FRU WhDW, , DSRORJLzH WR Dave, his employees, my readers and especially the nHw RwnHU. , hRSH WhHy cDn finG LW Ln WhHLU hHDUWs WR forgive.
With that said, I stand by the feelings I expressed in my original opinion piece.
Dave has been a beacon in the Newtown community for years, a shining example of what it means to be a small business owner through his gentle and polite manner, his always helpful advice, his ever present smile and his willingness to get involved and make the community a better place.
AnG WhH cRPPunLWy nHHGs WR UHcRJnLzH hLs cRntributions publicly in some form, maybe through a resolution or a proclamation.
Dave has given back to the Newtown community over and over again, through his active involvement with the business community, his support of communLWy RUJDnLzDWLRns DnG hLs OHDGHUshLS Ln WhH 1HwWRwn Historical Association where he volunteers hours to preserve the town’s past so others who come after him understand what came before.
To the new owner, I say thank you for stepping up, saving one of Newtown’s landmark businesses and giving Dave about the best send-off imaginable.
Small businesses like the Hardware House stand as a symbol of what makes this country great and what makes small towns like Newtown a truly special place to live.
What we need to do now is to embrace the new owner, welcome the changes he will bring and paWURnLzH WhH EusLnHss EHcDusH yRu GRn’W NnRw whDW you have until it’s gone.
As , sDLG EHIRUH, LI wH cRnWLnuH WR flRcN WR WhH brand new, big box retailers and choose to spend our dollars over the Internet at retailers based elsewhere, Main Street will be a far different place in the future – a hollow shell of its former self.
Let’s make a concerted effort, especially in these chDOOHnJLnJ WLPHs, WR flRcN EDcN WR RuU 0DLn SWUHHWs and support our local merchants. Oh, and here’s an idea for the new owner. 0DyEH whHn hH hROGs WhH RIficLDO ULEERn cuWWLnJ, they can hold up last week’s copy of The Advance of Bucks County, much like Truman did of the Chicago Tribune, and proclaim a new beginning for the Hardware House instead of its demise.
Let’s use this “close call” to remember and support what’s important about small town America. And at the same time give the new owner a warm and grateful welcome and honor Dave for a job well done.
(Jeff Werner is the Newtown Zone editor of the Advance of Bucks County)