Court Street was finally completed after months. After much hard work, traffic could finally drive through Hofstraat again. Driving all the way around was not yet possible because the street further around the corner was now up for a thorough facelift.
Three parking spaces had been constructed in front of our store. Three very popular parking spaces that were occupied almost all day. Only the front parking lot saw the occasional change of cars.
That parking lot had been moved during the laying of the bricks so that it would not end right in front of the entrance to our store. That did take some energy and time, but eventually we had gotten it in the right spot.
However, something we hadn’t taken into account were the people who were less able to assess everything visually. And we ourselves were occasionally just too late placing the billboard which had two functions: stopping overshooters and advertising.
For example, one day a representative in a Mercedes entered Hofstraat, saw the free parking space and decided to park his car there. In doing so, he didn’t pay attention and parked his car right in front of our store.
That day had started very early for us and the billboard was not yet on the sidewalk. The representative was also clearly not concerned with the parking spot because he stayed right in front of our store door with his engine running and reached into his trunk for some papers he apparently needed. He also did not notice at all that the four of us were watching him in amazement.
Then my father came up with an impulsive action. He walked quickly to the front door, pulled it open and shouted “I’m going to see that customer, see you soon!” and then dropped on top of the hood of the car with a bang. The man in the car looked at him in amazement as my father tried to get back up and shouted, ‘What idiot would park his car right in front of the entrance to my store! I’m going to call the municipality!’ The representative continued to follow him in amazement until he had disappeared from his sight.
We had moved out of his sight for a moment and almost stopped laughing.
Recovering from the shock, the man took another good look around, and slowly reversed his car to park it there. He clearly had no desire to argue with my father, so he quickly got out and disappeared around the corner toward one of the stores there.
From that day on, the routine of putting the store opening sign directly on the sidewalk was ingrained in us.