By David Knopf, News Editor
When Sally Vick retired from the post office early this year, it was time for the rural carrier to get on with life away from the Orrick branch at 107 W. South Front St.
Life, it turned out, was just a door away.
On Sept. 30, Vick returned to Front Street as co-owner of Antiques and More, a new shop she runs with her husband, Ritchie. Their address is 105 W. South Front St., which makes it easy for her old post office customers to stop in and visit.
“I’ve had fun just putting my stuff out and having people come in,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t going to make a lot on it, but I’ve been doing pretty well.
“We have a house full (an antiques and collectibles) and I’ve always said I wanted an antiques store and now I have one.”
Sally runs the shop on Thursdays and Fridays – she’ll be open Saturdays beginning this week for the Christmas season – and when he’s not busy farming, Ritchie scours the auctions and sales for merchandise.
“I say he’s my buyer now,” Sally said. “He used to go to auctions. Now he has a title.”
The Vicks purchased the narrow, shotgun store, which is around 12 feet wide and 35 feet deep. It’s compact, but Sally has things like Fiesta Ware, tools, art, quilts, seed-sack pillows, jewelry and furniture displayed from the floor to ceiling. There’s even an old Orrick post card she owns and had reproduced for customers.
When the weather’s nice, as it was the Saturday of the annual Orrick car show, she sets up displays out the back door to the alley.
Sally said she toyed with calling the shop “Good Junque,” but went with the more conventional “Antiques and More” to avoid confusion.
“Someone bought something the other day and said, ‘This isn’t an antique is it?’ and I said, ‘No, that’s the more,’ ” she said.
As any good antiques person would do, Sally said she researched the building’s history. It originally housed Hoyt Elrod’s barbershop, which burned in 1922 but was rebuilt without the usual small-town foot-dragging.
“They said it was rebuilt really quickly because it was the only public bath in town,” Sally said.
From what she can gather, it wasn’t a public restroom but a place where men could go to take a shower.
Elrod eventually partnered with another barber, Lloyd Smith, before his shop gave way to a beauty parlor. The most recent owner, beautician Marianna Clevenger, died about a year ago, Sally said.
The couple stripped the deteriorating tile floor and replaced it with plain, painted cement. They put up a tin roof, not exactly the style that was common around 1900, but old-timey tin nonetheless.
“We were going to leave the lathe and plaster, but the plaster kept falling down,” Sally said.
People seem to like what she’s done, Sally said, even the out-of-town antique hunters who search for Orrick on their maps.
“I really have had a lot of people come from out of town,” she said. “I’ve just been real pleased with people who come from other towns and from in-town, too.”
Sally said by posting her phone number on a sign with store hours she hoped to let people know she’d drive over to open for out-of-town shoppers.
“I’ve had someone from Springfield visit, and another from Overland Park,” she said.
Sally said she and Ritchie go to estate and garage sales, but enjoy auctions the most.
“I’ve had a few men come in and say, ‘Where’s the man stuff?’ and I tell them once Ritchie’s done with harvest he’s got a few more things to bring in.”
As the store’s main buyer, her husband has fun hunting for bargains. He’s also carrying on a family tradition, Sally said.
“He had an uncle who used to go around and buy stuff,” she said. “I told him he’s following in his footsteps.”