Thursday, November 30, 2017

Herbert Goldstein Humble Merchant Millionaire Died





Herbert Goldstein died Tuesday, November 28th, just three days before his 94th birthday.  He was one of downtown Marietta's most interesting person, if not the wealthiest.  He was a retail merchant and property investor.  We saw him in a doctors' waiting room with his daughter probably less than a year ago and he did not look well.
I have two Herbert Goldstein encounters to tell:
First: Years ago, we took our boys to Chattanooga to the Railroad Museum.  At the gift shop we bought our sons gray striped railroad engineers hats.  After we were back home, I decided I wanted on too.  I called around to various local clothing stores asking if they had the hats.  Goldstein's had them.  Of course.
Goldstein's Department Store was in the place the old McLlellan's 5 and 10₵ store was.
When I called and Herbert said they had them I asked how much and he instantly said something like $4.99.
The next day I went to Goldstein's to buy the railroad hat.  I heard that price tags were not visible.  You had to ask Mr. Goldstein the price and he looked at you not the item when he said the price.
I selected my hat and asked Mrs. Goldstein the price, who you think was a clerk there, not the owner's wife.  She said she would check.  Herbert was a good 30 feet away, she held up the hat and called out, "Mr. Goldstein, how much is this hat?"
And sure'nuff, he looked at me, not the hat, and said $3.99.
That was a dollar cheaper than he told me on the phone.  He either judged me to be a wise shopper or was too poor to pay more.
I did not know whether  to feel insulted or complemented.
Encounter two:  My sister gave me an overcoat as a gift.  I think she included the sales receipt in case it did not fit.  It did not fit.  It came from Goldstein's.
Then, Goldstein's Department Store was in the lobby of the old First National Bank Building, which he owned the building.  He was also the only employee there.
Mr.  Goldstein was very cordial and hinted strongly that I should pick out something I liked and swap evenly.  He hustled around picking out shirts, ties, gloves, handkerchiefs,  and whatever else he had a hand-held calculator that he kept a running total.
He came within 25€.

He opened his cash register.  I thought he was going to hand me a quarter.  I was wrong.  He handed me a Wendy's coupon with a 25 cent value. 

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