G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe opens

G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe is the newest acorn on Oak Avenue.

The toy store opened Nov. 23 at Second and Oak, and has seen plenty of kids and adults in its first two weeks of business.

“People are really excited to see a local toy store,” manager and buyer Jennifer Wood said. It’s been excellent, everyone coming in and doing their Christmas shopping locally.“

The store, open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week through Jan. 1, carries traditional toys such as Playmobile, Erector Sets and Legos, along with new toys, for children of all ages. Stuffed animals, puzzles, games, train sets, “Mars Mud” (you must squish to believe), dolls, and skill toys are just a few of the selections. As the shop is new and Wood is still learning what locals want, the merchandise will evolve, she said.

“We’re definitely a specialty toy store that offers a lot of traditional toys that maybe a lot of parents played with when they were kids, such as Erector Sets, Legos, and Playmobile,” she said. “We’ll carry more of the trendier type of toys as time goes on, and once we know what customers want. We are open to suggestion.”

Prices range from toys for 25 cents on up to the most expensive item, “Pedal Plane,” which just arrived Monday and sells for $500. Plenty of $2-5 toys are for sale.

The central location has been ideal, Wood said.

“It’s the best location in town. We get great walking traffic, and pretty much everyone who drives through town sees it,” Wood said.

Beckoning are a checked blue awning and picture of a clown — G. Williker’s — in the window.

“We tried to create an nostalgic atmosphere with a lot of primary colors and natural wood to give it traditional old time feel,” Wood said. The store is owned by Glen and Kim Haack.

Wood is a Hood River native who set up and managed shops for Eddie Bauer in the Portland metropolitan area and relished the chance to return home to operate G. Williker’s.

“It’s definitely a change of pace for me, but a great opportunity to not work for a large corporation,” she said. Popular items this Christmas have included Legos, Playmobile, and various toys collectively known as “spy gear”: camera, listeners, night scopes, and pens.

G. Williker’s will also include a candy counter as well as a “birthday club” in which kids enter their names for a monthly drawing for a birthday party or $75 gift certificate. The name “G. Williker’s,” was coined by Jennifer’s sister, Julie Wilson. “We liked the phrase, and turned it into a person’s name,” Wood said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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