Sweet Lorane Community News

I’m going to let this week’s column take me wherever it may lead. At the time of this writing, I’m heading into a very busy weekend that will be followed by another. My energy tank is nearing the “E” mark and these days, and it takes much longer to fill it back up.
Besides all of the community events that I’m involved with, Jim and I have decided to sell our store, as I mentioned in last week’s column. It’s a rather emotional time, but thanks to the tremendous amount of work our daughters are doing these past few weeks to crunch numbers and make sense out of a rather antiquated system of bookkeeping, it’s not nearly as painful as it could be… for me, anyway. I can’t vouch for Gloria and Kelly. Words come much easier for me than numbers. Fortunately, some of Jim’s talents with numbers have filtered through to them.
I have not had an active role in the store since I left in 1989. Jim likes to tell people that he bought the store for me… and I took him seriously and really loved working in the old building despite the fact that it was slowly falling into the creek. I loved getting to know almost every person who lived in the area. We’d chat as they got their groceries and/or snacks, or as I filled their gas tanks for the unheard-of price of 60 cents per gallon after the 1973 gasoline shortage hit the area a few years before we bought it. It was quite a scary time, wondering how we were going to be able to pay such a high price for gas. Before that, it averaged around 30 cents per gallon.
In those days, the loggers always felt welcome in our little old store. It had rough wooden floors that allowed them to walk in with their caulk/cork boots without getting the evil eye from the proprietor. Sweeping those floors usually generated a dust storm to rival any Arabian desert. We oiled them occasionally, but the dust seemed to be a permanent fixture.
The “Family” in Lorane Family Store has meant so much more than our own immediate family. It has always stood for “Community” as well.
I ran the store with the help of good friends along the way, for over eight years. Jim was managing Mayfair Markets at the time and he added his expertise whenever needed and helped make decisions, but I ran it. In about 1986, however, Mayfair closed its Oregon stores and Jim decided it was time to see how well the store could support us without his full-time pay check. He took on part-time work with Bert Babb at Harold’s Market and eventually the beautiful new store that the Babb family built in the West Lane Shopping Center in Veneta. Jim was a meat cutter there for a couple of years until I teasingly tell people, “He took over managing the Lorane Family Store and I was demoted to janitor.”
It was then that I decided to seek out employment elsewhere. Our kids were grown and it was time for me to spread my wings. After signing with a temp agency, using my new-found WordPerfect skills, I was soon offered a job at the University of Oregon… and Jim built the new store and allowed it to grow along with the community of Lorane.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally) have gone into those 41 years of ownership, but more importantly, a lot of love, too. For almost 41 years, Jim worked there seven days a week, except for vacations.
We are truly going to miss having it. It’s provided us a good living and I pray that whoever takes it over will allow it to grow and continue to be a very viable part of the community of Lorane.
Be sure to check out my personal website!



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