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Thread: Again...Sears...REALLY?

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    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Again...Sears...REALLY?

    For the past few days, the first time in a long time, I'm seeing advertisements for Sears. Problem is, they are not advertising any particular great products or services...instead, it's rather nice looking everyday type people, bragging that they don't just shop at Sears...they OWN store!

    For some reason, instead of inspiring me to get in my car, and drive several miles to the nearest SEARS...I'm reminded of the kid who showed up at school one morning, with a tiny box, bragging about buying this box full of cute baby animals! He had paid another kid a dollar for the little box. Inside, lying on a bed of cotton balls, were about a half dozen tiny four-legged creatures. That's when a biology teacher happened to walk up, became alarmed, and took possession of the box. He informed the kid that he had purchased a box of newborn rats! Then kindly took possession & disposed of them.

    Another thing this reminds me of is the huge number of our population who are hiring lawyers to try and extract themselves from getting caught up in the "TIMESHARE" craze that swept the nation a few years back. I'm certainly no financial genius, but if I recognize this, what must the true money smart people think?

    Instead of having a positive reaction to the commercials, my thoughts are that these folks just got scammed.

    Am I being too harsh? Judgemental, unfair...
    John Clary
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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Move to Canada; where Pimpson-Queers is now HISTORY!!

    http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...bad-news/page2

    Craig

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    Speedster Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    Sears, from what I can recall, has been circling the drain for quite some time. A series of poor business decisions regarding product priories in the 1980s as well as the merger with Kmart (that ranks right up there with Chrysler-Daimler as far as corporate messes go) doomed them from competing fully in the 21st century. It was the same with Studebaker. In one century, both of them were the biggest players around in their respective fields. In another, they were removed from their gilded pedestals and thrown essentially into the trash heap.

    As some wits say, nothing can last forever. Not even Studebaker...
    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

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    A friend of my brother worked a day job as a sandblaster. In the evenings he had a second job at Sears in the Loss Prevention department. Not too long ago they moved him to Appliance sales and just this week was made the Manager of the Automotive department (an area he claims he has no experiernce in).

    So, I think that kind of shows how Sears is scrambling. Also makes me wonder if the removal from the Loss Prevention position was becasuse there was nothing theives wanted to steal from Sears. While I'm sure there are many reasons for the decline of Sears a large part of it may be that successive generations simply don't want to shop where their parents shop. So, what does Sears do, alienate their traditional base, or ignore the future purchasers???

    BTW, very recently car insurance companies seem to be using the "not like your parents" angle to draw customers away from following their parents as to who they insure with.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    Ever try buying something off their website? Really painful and frustrating.

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    President Member ddub's Avatar
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    This month both the Sears and K-Mart closed in our county. Now at least a 30 minute drive to Sears.
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

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    I have had good experiences with Sears. I haven't had any problems with their website. The products Sears sells are, generally, a decent quality product for the price. Their Diehard, Craftsman and other signature brands have been known as good quality products.

    As opposed to Wally-World which sells the absolutely lowest quality junk made by political prisoners and/or slaves in China. But, this is the way of retail today: buy the cheapest junk you can and sell it for the lowest price since that's all people today look at. I'd rather go to Sears, thank you very much.

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    It's a last ditch effort to capture any goodwill left to their Signature brands, which have all been sold off to other entities and will soon be offered everywhere.

    The "Hometown Stores" around here are dropping like flies. Several have closed around here in the last 12 months, and they are getting down to a number that have to remain to support populations of legacy product. They may hang on a few more years. My best friend just drove 60 miles to the one still open in my town for a built in stove that is only still offered by Kenmore. It was the closest store pick up for him.

    Don't get excited. These stores are pulling from a large geographical area now, and buying one for sentimental purposes would be like buying a Studebaker dealership in 1963.

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    A few years ago people were picking up Craftsman tools and equipment at yard sales, etc. They would take the stuff to a Sears store and exchange it for new equipment. Maybe the stores ask for a purchase receipt now.

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    President Member 55s's Avatar
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    In the latest Lowes flyer in Canada, the last page has a full page ad for the new, re-engineered line of Craftsman tools to be sold soon at Lowe's stores. No pictures.

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    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    I know I started this thread, and it seems like I'm picking on Sears, but I'm really not. It's just that the iconic old company had such a huge impact on my early life! Some of my earliest memories of venturing into the retail public was a trip to Sears! Heck, I was almost 10 years old when our family of 8 (at that time) got our first car! Until that time, a trip to town took some planning and involved a trolley, train, bus, or a borrowed car. It was a rare and hectic excursion. Even after getting the used '50 Pontiac woodie station wagon (in '53), a trip to Sears was probably like a trip to Disney for today's kids.

    From Sears came our clothes, mom's sewing machine, our radio, record player, our first TV, guns, toys, tools, appliances, steel traps, and our first tractor! (I still have it.) So...it is sad to see such a once great entity reduced to unkempt desolation that couldn't even be described as worthy of a "Shadow" of its former self. Very sad.
    John Clary
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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55s View Post
    In the latest Lowes flyer in Canada, the last page has a full page ad for the new, re-engineered line of Craftsman tools to be sold soon at Lowe's stores. No pictures.
    I wonder if someone will ever pick up the 'Allstate' name for auto parts and accessories.

    I'm aware Allstate Insurance also has its roots with Sears, but I don't believe there would be any legal issues it someone only used the 'Allstate' name for parts & accessories.

    Craig

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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    K-Mart (Big-K) has their closeout scheme in full BS mode.
    They put my local store on their close list, and milked that closeout cow dry.
    Advertised that they were selling the fixtures, too.
    Approached them about buying some display racks... Got the 'Talk to the mgr' excuse.
    Oh... BTW.. The Mgr only works 8-5 M/F....
    Tried several times M-F to contact the 'Mgr' during the M-F 8-5 window...
    Staff all left. Temp help staffing the place during the cosing ritual.
    Never did hook up.... Their loss... Not mine. The bldg has now been de-badged and shuttered.
    Good riddance.

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    President Member j.byrd's Avatar
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    jclary, a trip to Sears was a really big thing for us too as kids, especially me. I had several surgeries and a LOT of Dr visits all through school, and these were in Knoxville, TN. We lived a few miles out in a small town, Daddy worked more than full time, and Momma was pretty busy with the younger kids as well as a job. Pretty often on the trips to Knoxville, if he had the time, Daddy would stop at Sears and let me wander around the candy counter and then the area where the motorcycles, scooters, go-carts, and bicycles were. We, being country folks, also "shopped" the gun racks looking at the J.C. Higgins and other brands of long guns for hunting. Sears was such an event, and being with Daddy in there was always special. Oh, he did NOT enjoy me looking at the motorcycles at all, and when I was 26 and got my 1st one, I thought he was going to come down to AL where I was living then and "whup my tail", ha ! Had bikes ever since, but he was so scared I would mess up my leg surgeries. When I got my 1st really good job in Texas working on F-111 aircraft, I went straight to Sears in Knoxville before driving to Ft. Worth and filled my new little tool box with all the "required for employment" items that General Dynamics specified.... Good times, great memories, all brought on partially by my Sears "adventures".

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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.byrd View Post
    jclary, a trip to Sears was a really big thing for us too as kids, especially me.<snip>
    Being a midwestern kid born and raised NW of Chicago... Sears was a huge deal... Big part of the area...
    When the first 'big' mall opened in the country (Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg) my girlfriend and I both applied for work (while still in high school).
    Sears hired her, but passed me by (for the auto department).
    Took my automotive talent (BS) elsewhere, and made a successful career in the industry...
    But do I hold a grudge against Sears?
    Nope.
    Their tailspin and failure is well deserved, and I am glad I avoided that ride...

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    President Member BobWaitz's Avatar
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    Broke a Craftsman screw driver Friday night on the hinge screws for an M-series door. Stopped at Sears yesterday and they happily replaced it.

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    When I was young, the store of that type to go to was Montgomery Ward. We didn't have a Sears then. Even when I was married and we bought our first house, we had to cross the river (Hudson) to get to a Sears. For quite awhile, we had both, then Wards went away and Sears is barely hanging on - they may be just waiting for their lease to be up in the Galleria Mall.
    Gary L.
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    President Member acolds's Avatar
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    The part I find funny is that Sears and Wards were catalog merchants first and now Amazon is using that to kill the regular stores. Maybe Kmart/Sears should go back to their early roots as mail order or on line . Get some of their old timers and return to past which they use to know how to do

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    This looks like as Good a place as any to put my recent fiasco with Sears and bring this thread back up. On of the front tires on Pinkie came apart while she was parked in my driveway. I noticed it Monday when I jumped in Pinkie to go someplace so I had to drive a brand X. I put on a spare and drove down to the local Sears store where I bought the the tires and the salesman refused to honor the service contract and stated that it was not valid and started getting irate. I went home and called Sears Corporate and they confirmed that indeed my contract was valid. To day I went back in to the Sears Automotive Center and talked to the manager since he was working today. The manager confirmed that my contract was indeed valid. We then walked out to Pinkie and I opened the trunk. Yep that was warrantee covered damage he confirmed but then he went on to state that other people have come in to the store and wanted that size tire for their cars and the size was no longer made so the best he could do was offer me a refund. I took the refund and then drove one block to the tire store that handles the rest of my tires Franks Tire in Union Gap and Eddie looked up my tire size 165R15 and "yes indeed they are available in an all season radial.....how may you want?" I only need two since I run them on front on stock Studebaker rims with moon caps. The Sears Automotive Service Manager in Union Gap lied to my face about that size and them being available.

    I ordered two tires from Eddie and drove home and immediately called Sears Corporate Customer Service and filled a complaint and they are proceeding with an investigation of that manager.

    Sears Corporate has a website dedicated to publishing the horror stories of their former customers. Corporate is trying to weed out the problems but down at the local level is the problem employees that have no clue of what customer service is supposed to be let alone what it is that they are supposed to be selling. This same Union Gap store tool department has been fumbling around for more then a month and hand tools are still in buckets and the two sales clerks have no clue of what tools do what.

    Those of you with Sears purchased tires on your vehicles are in for nothing but misery if you need something as simple as flat repair.
    If you car is ugly then it better be fast.....

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    I'll add my Sears fiasco story...........although it does not involve cars or tools. Long story short, less than 4 year old top of the line Kenmore refrigerator quit. Called Sears A&E Service dept. for an appointment. No problem we'll be there in two weeks! Once they determined the problem, they ordered the parts and told me another two weeks before they would arrive. Once installed, they worked but not as they should so I still did not have the use of the refrigerator. Called again and was told I'd have to go to the back of the line.............two more weeks before they returned to repair, the repair. We were 6 weeks without this refrigerator.
    Never again will I be a Sears customer.

  21. #21
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by studebakerkid View Post
    <snip> Yep that was warrantee covered damage he confirmed but then he went on to state that other people have come in to the store and wanted that size tire for their cars and the size was no longer made so the best he could do was offer me a refund. I took the refund and then drove one block to the tire store that handles the rest of my tires Franks Tire in Union Gap and Eddie looked up my tire size 165R15 and "yes indeed they are available in an all season radial.....how may you want?" I only need two since I run them on front on stock Studebaker rims with moon caps. The Sears Automotive Service Manager in Union Gap lied to my face about that size and them being available.<snip>
    Not taking a side on this, but the lowly department manager (de-jour) probably had no recourse, as Sears has been on COD with many vendors for non payment of their bills.
    Perhaps the manager knew he could not order your tires and get delivery, so he said they were unavailable...
    Next (irate) customer...
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

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    Tires are sold by size AND Brand. When Sears stated that the size tire you needed wasn't available it is likely because in the brands Sears carries it was not available. Down at "Frank's Tire" Eddie is likely not held to those restrictions. Seemingly an indepenent he can probably order tires from anywhere. So, while I agree the the salesman at Sears was not forthright I don't think they are lying when they said the tire (in the size you needed) wasn't available. I can't think of any (modern) car today that runs 165 width tires. And Sears is only likely to carry that which sells well.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    Sears is in a death spiral. Ask a guy who just tried to get his lawn tractor serviced and fixed. I will never walk into a Sears store again.
    Joe Roberts
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    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    I went into our local Sears with some busted Craftsman tools and discovered that they were two weeks from closing and were not doing exchanges any more. I was referred to a Sears twenty miles away or Lowe's, which now sells Craftsman tools. Personally I think Amazon may have had a hand in Sears demise since you can buy just about anything on-line these days.
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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Yeah, I remember going to the store in South Bend as a kid. When I was little the biggest impression was from the beach balls bouncing on the column of air from a vacuum. Later enjoyed looking at the guns and electric trains with dad and the allstate motor cycle.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    The Sears Catalog WAS my "search engine" back in the 1960's.

    Seems it is time to change out a vowel in Sears quality offering: "Good, Better, Bust!"
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    I remember looking at the ladies underwear in the catalogue! I liked national geographic too. As a side point it got me into national geographic.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    Yep, The Sears catalog was essential out there in the "out house"..

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitehawk759 View Post
    Personally I think Amazon may have had a hand in Sears demise since you can buy just about anything on-line these days.
    Probably more than a little but isn't it a shame that Sears had the customer and capital base to be Amazon easily and it took Jeff Bezos with nothing close to the Sears resources to pull it off. It was their's for the taking.

    Bob
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    Chief Cat Herder showbizkid's Avatar
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    Actually there was a great story online a couple years back (can't find the link now) about how Sears' website was in place a couple of years before Amazon and the CEO's intention at the time was to do just what Amazon eventually did - build a distribution portal that would serve everything to everyone. Unfortunately, the Wall Street types took over and ousted him before his vision became reality.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a staunch capitalist. But Wall Streeters generally have no interest in building businesses; when they buy a legacy corporation it's only with the intent of either merging it or selling the assets and then putting a stake into the corpse.
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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by showbizkid View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I'm a staunch capitalist. But Wall Streeters generally have no interest in building businesses; when they buy a legacy corporation it's only with the intent of either merging it or selling the assets and then putting a stake into the corpse.
    All too common. I've heard it said (this was many years ago) that Japanese business executives think strategically...years into the future...and American execs think no farther than the next quarter which is very short sighted for long term success.

    I collect Colt firearms and their history is much the same...different corporate owners who suck the profits from military contracts without updating the commercial side and becoming non-competitive in the market and when the military contracts stopped, they more or less dumped the carcass of the company by the side of the road for someone else to pick and try and resuscitate.

    I'm sure it won't be the last company mishandled this way. History means nothing to cooperate raiders...some companies have deserved to go under...some have it done to them. I'm a capitalist as well...it's been said that a true businessman will sell his own hangman the noose. Maybe there's something to that.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    Not to defend Wall Street at all, because there are some really clueless people disconnected from reality on Wall Street now. (the past 20 years in particular). This phenomenon also occurs in family owned businesses. It's called the Second (or Third) Generation Curse. When people are running a family business, and are emotionally involved, it succeeds because of their passion. And then, a child or grandchild comes along that isn't quite as passionate or takes it for granted. I've seen it happen way too many times.

    It's part of the danger of taking a private company public. And believe me, it's more than Wall Street looking for an easy buck.

    Sears had such a huge following over the years, it's ownership and management had to work to destroy it. And, they have. People who had no passion or in many cases even respect for it's Heritage ended up running and ruining it. Steeped in tradition, some of it's problems also came from fear of change. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" often leads to breaking it even worse.

  33. #33
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    Got my first set of sockets from Sears. Still have some of them today. My grand father and Great uncle bought house kits from Sears some where around 1910.

  34. #34
    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 556063 View Post
    This phenomenon also occurs in family owned businesses. It's called the Second (or Third) Generation Curse. When people are running a family business, and are emotionally involved, it succeeds because of their passion. And then, a child or grandchild comes along that isn't quite as passionate or takes it for granted. I've seen it happen way too many times.
    I've seen that happen locally...this was before shopping malls and chain stores moved in. Local businesses...department stores and smaller...did well in the downtown area for years...until about the third generation of the family decided it wasn't what they wanted in life. They wanted to pursue other endeavors, move...whatever. Then the company either sells out or closes. I guess it's just a fact of life...no law or desire on the part of the family can force following generations to follow in the same fashion. People have different passions, interests, ambitions and aptitudes and want to follow a different drummer.

    Much of this resulted form our national experience of World War II. Many, if not most, of the population had travelled little beyond their area where they were born and raised. Relocating for jobs or military service exposed many to other ways of life and living they wouldn't have known otherwise and postwar they decided to move elsewhere and not follow in the family footsteps. My mom was raised in Augusta, GA where her parents settled when they immigrated here early in the century. During the war all four of her brothers served...three went back to Augusta after the war...one had seen California when sent there for training...he fell in love with it and returned to California following the war and made a life there. I'm sure that was repeated nationwide.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

  35. #35
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    Believe it or not there are almost no mom-n-pop stores left in the City of New York. In a city with a huge Italian population, I defy you to find a real Italian restaurant.......they are 99% gone......only up in the Bronx are some family holdouts........I have found with every ethnicity, by the third generation the gestalt is gone.......and so is the desire to continue with the family business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 556063 View Post
    Not to defend Wall Street at all, because there are some really clueless people disconnected from reality on Wall Street now. (the past 20 years in particular). This phenomenon also occurs in family owned businesses. It's called the Second (or Third) Generation Curse. When people are running a family business, and are emotionally involved, it succeeds because of their passion. And then, a child or grandchild comes along that isn't quite as passionate or takes it for granted. I've seen it happen way too many times.

    It's part of the danger of taking a private company public. And believe me, it's more than Wall Street looking for an easy buck.

    Sears had such a huge following over the years, it's ownership and management had to work to destroy it. And, they have. People who had no passion or in many cases even respect for it's Heritage ended up running and ruining it. Steeped in tradition, some of it's problems also came from fear of change. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" often leads to breaking it even worse.
    A rather interesting specialized club here in good old Green Bay WI.....the S.O.B's club. We have a lot of hand-me-down family industries in manufacturing, engineering, general goods, fuel, properties, auto dealerships, marine shipyards, boat building, paper & paper converting, etc. The S.O.B. stands for.....sons of bosses!!! They have a large problem base of: how to deal with dad / mom, maintain the forward progress of getting bigger / better, deal with change of ALL types (we have ALWAYS done it this way and we do NOT need to change), we have always used.....fill in the blank / of who - what - where - no advertising - political party - local elected officials and so on and so forth. Looking in from the outside this club, its topics and its members are a hoot! What is the old Groucho Marx quote......"I would never want to be a member of a club that would HAVE me as a member" ? Regards, Sherm / Green Bay

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