Stories, comments, observations and opinions by a Texan who is happily retired in Sonoma, California. Once a Texan....always a Texan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FROM SAVING EL CHICO - The Be Lovely Boutique


Daytime temperatures hit 110 degrees for sixteen days in a row, setting a new record for El Chico. A breeze felt like the “puff” when first opening a hot oven door.
Two times a year Lulu Belle Swartz, owner of the Be Lovely Boutique, lined racks, tables and shelves outside her store. She stuffed them with every item she had in stock and then stretched a big sign across the establishment’s windows that said, “MAKE ME AN OFFER”.  
 Dolly Nelson stood behind a display of sandwiches and cold drinks. No one was buying the sandwiches but the cold drinks were almost sold out and it wasn’t even noon. Dolly started filling plastic bags with crushed ice and offered them for a dollar each. “Just slip these little ditties inside your bras and you can keep on shopping in comfort,” announced Dolly as the women lined up for her bra coolers.

 Lulu Belle’s sales were legendary. Crowds of ladies showed up from miles around expecting bargains and camaraderie. Today they were screaming across each other bidding on the blouses, jeans, purses, and jewelry. Like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, it was a circus. Anyone visiting for the first time was amazed that Lulu Belle could decipher the offers through the clamor of high-pitched female voices that sounded like geese in mating season.
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