Muellers part Parkdale emporium

PARKDALE — What won’t you find at Parkdale Plain and Fancy?

You’ll find glassware, records, and furniture at the venerable store in the center of town.

There’s toys, jewelry, books, and clothes.

Tools, musical instruments, and historic photos.

And plenty more.

But you won’t find owners Dick and Lennie Mueller.

Not after today.

The founders of Plain and Fancy are retiring, 18 years after transforming the former drugstore and cafe into the Upper Valley’s well-known two-story haven of old stuff and new finds.

Cherie Kelley Anderson of Hood River is leasing the business. She plans to keep the definitive name and do little to change Plain and Fancy.

“I like the name. Everyone knows it,” said Anderson, who also owns The Second Hand Sheik’s Boutique in White Salmon. She is former manager of the old Hood River Stage store. Anderson said that over time she will add more vintage clothing to the selection.

The active Muellers will remain in the community, working for Lions, Columbia Gorge Center, Parkdale Community Center and the many other involvements they enjoy.

“I think I’ll miss it the most,” Lennie said of leaving Plain and Fancy. “I do business here for lots of things. People knew they could find me here.”

Dick admits that though they could have given up the store years ago, he has stayed in shape through the physical labor of buying, processing, cleaning, and stocking the antiques, estate sale goods, and consignment items that make up Plain and Fancy’s extensive but orderly collection.

“We started out going to yard sales, and sometimes taking everything that was left over,” Dick said. “Gradually, we went more and more to acquiring estate sale items.”

The Muellers developed a dependable source of estate sales to comprise the bulk of their merchandise. The couple said they will miss the close, 10-year working relationship they had with estate sale organizers Ivonne and John Delapine.

Anderson said she will forego accepting consignments until she gets settled in, and once she does she will be as discriminating as the Muellers have been.

“Everything’s hand-picked,” Anderson said.

*****

The Muellers invite the community to an open house today at the store, 4950 Baseline. “It will be an all-day party,” Lennie 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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