Opening The Old Trunk means no slowing down for the Woosleys

Roger and Lindamay Woosley are right at home at the revitalized Old Trunk on Dee Highway.

Photo by Ben Mitchell.
Roger and Lindamay Woosley are right at home at the revitalized Old Trunk on Dee Highway.

Many people enter their golden years intent on taking it easy, eagerly anticipating boundless leisure time after working day jobs for the majority of their lives.

Not so for married couple Roger and Lindamay Woosley. Despite being well into retirement age, the septuagenarians and longtime Gorge residents recently purchased, opened, and are operating The Old Trunk antique shop/fruit stand/bookstore located in between Hood River and Dee on the Dee Highway.

“Life is about adventure,” Lindamay said when asked about why she and her husband of 53 years decided to start the new business. “Life is about the unknown.”

The Woosleys, however, are far from novices when it comes to entrepreneurial endeavors. Over the past several decades the pair, both together and separately, have operated a dizzying array of businesses both in and outside the Gorge, including candy stores, grocery stores, delis, three different orchards, Columbia Photo, a dealership that distributed The Oregonian in Vancouver, Wash., and a bark dust business — just to name a few.

Their love of entrepreneurship has also been passed on to their daughter, Tammy Hall, who owns Tammy’s Floral in Hood River, and their son, Tim Woosley, who owns the Sportsman’s Barber Shop, also located in Hood River.

photo

Among the antiques and collectibles on sale at the Woosleys’ store is this Norman Rockwell plate that resembles the owners’ affectionate stance in photo on page A1.

“We pretty much always had some business going,” Roger said.

The Woosleys’ last shop was located at 1115 Hull St. on the Heights and was called “Tricycling Along: Antiques and More:” a unique hybrid of store that sold antiques, sandwiches and candy.

After a few years, they closed the business in 2012. In November of the same year, Roger suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body and it seemed unlikely he and Lindamay would ever be able to run a business side-by-side again.

However, after some intense physical therapy, Roger recuperated, regained most of the use of his right side and soon went stir-crazy watching Lindamay to go to work at Windermere Real Estate in Hood River while he stayed behind at their home in The Dalles.

One night, Roger dreamt he and Lindamay bought The Old Trunk — a purchase the couple first considered making when the property last went up for sale approximately seven years ago, according to the Woosleys.

“I asked him, ‘You sure you want to tackle that?’” Lindamay recalled. “He said, ‘Yes, I do.’”

The Woosleys sold their building at 1115 Hull three months ago and bought The Old Trunk property at the end of April, which included a house located directly behind the store building where Roger and Lindamay now live.

The Old Trunk is the same name of the former business located on the site that served as a bookstore, an antique store, and a berry stand when the small grove of raspberries located behind the store building bore fruit.

While the majority of the space for the current store is dedicated to an eclectic collection of books and antiques — with a particular emphasis on vintage soda bottles and model trains — Roger and Lindamay are looking to expand the food options available at the store. In addition to the fresh raspberries (get them now!), the store will carry other local fruit and honey throughout the season. The Woosleys are looking to add vegetables and locally raised eggs to the shelves this summer, as well.

Also carried are Lindamay’s homemade pies and jams, as well as some delicious snickerdoodle cookies.

Although they’re looking to operate a profitable business, Lindamay noted that she and Roger want more than anything to make visitors who visit their store feel right at home.

“I think the pleasure is that even if people don’t buy anything, they reminisce back to their grandmother or mother, and to me, that’s special,” she said.

That reverence for the past is succinctly summed up on their business cards for The Old Trunk, which declare: “Sometimes, older is better.”

The Old Trunk has only been open for a month, but Roger remarked that business is “growing every day,” and he expects it to get busier as summer kicks into high gear.

But it’s nothing the Woosleys can’t handle.

“Our bodies may be getting older,” Lindamay noted, “but our hearts aren’t.”

The Old Truck is open seven days a week during the summer and plans to stay open six days a week during the off-season. For more information, call the store at 541-354-1181.

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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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