Small Town Quilter’s Rescue
Recently I had to call 911……for my sewing machine.
You see, I had a quilt retreat coming up and just a few days before I was supposed to go, the presser foot on my sewing machine lost it’s grip. I mean, I could lower the foot using the lever but it just “floated” on top of the fabric, no pressure at all. I could slide the fabric in and out with the presser foot in the “down” position. Oh, my! That’ll never do! The spring must have broken or something. Anyway, I called my local sewing machine repair man (he also happens to be the vacuum cleaner repair man) and told him I had a sewing machine emergency. I told him what I thought was wrong and that I needed it fixed ASAP since I was going to the quilt retreat in a few days. He just chuckled and said, of course, I’ll see what I can do”.
A Step Back In Time
So I took my machine to his shop just off main street. When I walked in I thought I had stepped back in time. The place looked exactly like Emmet’s Repair Shop from “The Andy Griffith Show”. There were dozens of dusty sewing machines and vacuum cleaners lined up along the wall and in the aisles, some with repair tags on them, some with “SALE” stickers. I literally had to step over a few. I started to get really nervous. He obviously was a little behind on his repairs! Was my machine just going to be placed at the end of the line?! Would I ever be able to get it back again?! Oh, no! Maybe I should go somewhere else?! No, I had made a commitment long ago to support our local businesses. This guy has been in business for more than 30-some years so he was apparently doing something right. Besides, the next nearest repair shop was 50 miles away. (Oh, the joys of living in South Dakota). I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I made it to the counter in the back, put down my machine and gave him the “please do my mine next, I’ve got to take it to a quilt retreat next week” look. He smiled reassuringly and said, “it’ll be ready by tomorrow.”
Making A Customer for Life
Woohoo! How awesome is that?! (His wife must be a quilter). This guy just made a customer for life! Well, the story doesn’t end there. The next day, being Saturday, I stopped in to pick up my machine. When I got to the front door, I gave it a little pull but it was locked. I peeked inside and saw all the lights off. Oh, no! That’s when I saw the “closed” sign in the window and the hours read: Saturdays 8 am-2 pm. Wait, what?!! I looked at my watch. It was 2:15. Are you kidding me?!! He could have called me!
Now what do I do?!
Luckily, next door was Mark’s Barber Shop. (Yeah, it looked a lot like Floyd’s). Mark saw my dejected face and offered to call Al at home, which he did. He then proceeded to unlock the repair shop with his own key and ring up my repair charge on Al’s register. I found my machine sitting right by the counter with a “done” tag hanging from the handle. Mark had no qualms about taking my check and he assumed I knew which machine was mine. He said he and Al had been business neighbors for a lot of years. I asked him if Al had ever cut any of his customers’ hair for him. Ha ha!
He gave me that small town smile and said “just come on back if you need anything else. We’re here to help.”
My machine works great and I won’t ever take for granted the personal attention you get when you live in a small town. Happy quilting!
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