Forever Changes, Part II.

My little brother started working weekends at Law's Hobby last fall, to supplement his Starbucks job, which was directly across the street. I always tell him that he should run for mayor of San Luis Obispo, because of his high-profile status as a jolly citizen and employee. Because of his two jobs, everyone knows him! It's like walking down the street with Santa Claus.

Law's Hobby employed its regular cast of middle-aged crafters, as well as a few hip young art students. My brother fell into this category, and enjoyed shaking things up a bit with his particular brand of hijinks. The older folks adored him, and when, this fall, they announced that they were firing almost all the employees, they asked him to stay on.

They had hoped that the addition of an art gallery would help them become more than just a craft store. But the art gallery's design and offerings were, well, hideous, in classic Law's Hobby style. They just didn't know any better. The art was hung on pegboard, like in someone's garage or something, and it was all the way upstairs, where passers-by wouldn't know anything about it anyway.

They explained to my brother that they were once again changing tactics, that they were selling off the majority of their craft stock and trying to become more of an art supply store. He was flattered, but declined their offer of employment, because, well, it was pretty boring to work there, and it looked like things were only going to get worse.

On my last trip to San Luis, Law's Hobby was having a 50-90%-off sale on most of their stuff. I spent a few hours in there, knowing that this would be the last time I would get to browse the way I did when I was a kid. I bought a ton of stuff, including some ribbon with llamas on it, a bunch of fake birds, and all the little bits and pieces I could find.

I guess it happens to everyone from a small town. Either you're mad because nothing ever changes, or you're mad because it dares to change. I, of course, am in the latter category. I know that Law's Hobby will be gone soon, no matter how hard they try to hang on and change with the times.

Next on Forever Changes...The Re-Location of Old Country Deli and McCarthy's. BELIEVE IT!


Sarah said...

Ack! What is happening to our town?

I heard about McCarthy's possibly closing and I was sad but news of a re-location gives me hope. Do you know where they're moving?

Ted said...

Um, I went through the same stages with R.B. Howell in Portland.

Denial. They can't be closing RB Howell just because it's giant, unpopular and on prime real estate.

Anger. Ok, well I wasn't angry.

Bargaining. So, yeah, I used the closing of the store around 1995 to stock up on dead fake birds and probably some cheap acrylic paints.

Depression. I'm only going through this now.

Acceptance. There is now an unexceptional, though not hideous, building in it's place in the pearl district of Portland. Which is too bad, because it was on of the really nice older brick warehouse buildings, like the one that became the NW patagucci.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you for "Either you're mad..dares to change." Exactly. This is brilliant. I am so excited about your fake bird purchase; can you tell me if small dollhousish items, especially mini fake food had been thouroughly picked over when you were last there? That section was my absolute favorite, though I also loved, loved, Loved the styrofoam aisles. I had no idea you could get so many things/shapes you wanted in styrofoam. Am I spelling 'styrofoam' correctly? Anyway, you know I loves yer blog, but especially subject matters pertaining to SLO, and so, please, please, do not disappoint on information re: Old Country Deli and McCarthy's. I must know. By the way, speaking of progress, my parents are big fans of Chili's in Paso. But, apparently, it's a lively, busy place with not enough beepers to supply to the thousands of waiting diners. Perhaps it's a Chili's or TGIF's or another Starbucks that's going into said old locations????????????????
Love, Liz

maysha said...

i, too, looooooooved Law's...one of my piano recitals was held at the Law home...this is sad. thanks for the memories.