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Front Page » December 9, 2004 » Family Focus & Business Jou... » Spirit of Christmas
Published 3,661 days ago

Spirit of Christmas


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By KEN LARSON
Sun Advocate publisher

Volunteers have spent endless hours the past two weeks helping Sue Dirks at Ev's Bookstore. The books store, located at 11 West Main was flooded in September and is now back together.

When the merchants began meeting this past summer organizing Downtown Alive they were thinking of cooperative ways to promote their businesses and market Price's Main Street. When they set up the organization I doubt if anyone realized how alive downtown could become and how they would soon discover the true spirit of the holidays.

Over two weeks ago Pat Dirks was injured on the job at a local coal mine The serious accident caused extensive facial, rib and back injuries and earlier this week he received back surgery and complete facial reconstruction. His wife, Sue, has been at his side at the University Hospital in Salt Lake City since the accident.

It's not been an easy fall for Sue, who manages Ev's Bookstore in downtown Price at 11 West Main. In early September her mother, Evelyn Brown, owner of the bookstore was diagnosed with cancer and then, just a few days later the business was completely flooded by the September rains. The rain caused extensive damage to the business, ruining the floor, shelving, walls and many of the books. Just prior to her husband's accident her young nephew broke his arm and a niece was hospitalized the next day.

When Pat was hospitalized in Salt Lake, Sue dropped everything, leaving her children with sisters and delaying any repairs to the closed business.

Sue has been very active with the Downtown Alive committee, volunteering to coordinate several projects, including the Halloween activities. She has become one of several people on Main Street who call on businesses, help organize activities and reach out to support her fellow merchants.

As Paul Harvey would say, "Here's the rest of the story."

Several days after the accident a neighboring business owner, James Liin from Top Line Computer decided to tear out the old carpet and floor covering. He and his father, Ed, went to work on the floor. In the meantime they mentioned this to Becky Jones, from Becky's Brews, who in turn called Jennifer Cloyd from Cloyd's Floor Store. Jennifer was more than happy to donate new carpet and glue for the entire store. From here the chain reaction continued. Georgia Dunlap, Sue's sister, and owner of a neighboring business called Hand-n-Hand, began organizing crews to put up shelves and divide the soiled books from the good ones.

Georgia Dunlap reaches high on the new shelves that her husband , Chris installed.

The work sessions reminded me of Santa's workshops as people from throughout Main Street, including the mayor's office, the city offices, the Chamber of Commerce and United Way, all rolled up their sleeves and went to work.

"Everybody's pulling together," says Becky, who is an integral part of the Downtown Alive organization. "People are stepping up to bat and not worrying what they are going to get out of it."

"Somebody needs help and we are here," says Becky, who has been spending as much time at the bookstore the past few days as she has at her own coffee shop. Top Line Computers donated a computer and volunteers are helping inventory the books and putting the title and author information in the computer. Paul Hoffman from Hard Hat Furniture threw in a computer chair to complete the office area.

The store will be reopened by this Saturday in time for the Christmas Spectacular Downtown Alive celebration. "We are still shelving books and need to finish painting," says Georgia.

The best part of this story is that Sue, who has been sitting up at the hospital, watching and praying for her husband to heal, knows none of this.

Becky explained that another sister, Ann, will take this article from Sun Advocate to Sue this weekend and will simply tell her, "Here's the newspaper so you can see what's going on back home."

The list of those who have helped is long. There have been many people who have pitched in to help get the store re-opened. It is truly a Christmas story. Neighbors and friends helping each other, reaching out and making a difference.



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