||Wedding Dresses in Clinton, Louisiana
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||©1999, John Menszer
|| In this country when I went out on the road again selling ladies' dresses, I called in a small town in Clinton, Louisiana. There was Mrs. Stuart. There was a general merchandise store. They had anything under the sun. When the movie with Paul Newman "Long Hot Summer" that was filmed in her store . . . And I came over there, and they sold everything under the sun. They sold almost everything: feed for the mules, and shoes, and ladies' dresses, and sugar, and fat, and everything. And I walked in over there, and I had only one kind of dresses to sell, 4 dollars and 75 cents. And the old lady, she was an English lady, very rich as I understood. She was one of the richest women in this little town, Clinton.
And she says to me, "Mister, I only selling house dresses, which they sells for 2 dollars and 98 cents. Now I cannot pay you 4.75. That's all I sell is 2.98."
Then I say, "Well, I don't have none for 2.98, but you do sell it to the same women, they are buying. They can buy at 4.95, you sell them for 6.95, and they are going to get wedding and they are going to get married in the dresses." And I talked her in, and she says "O.K., I will take a dozen dresses," and that is why I made this kind of money. She never bought anything, that price goods.
And she said to me, "Mister, from where are you from?" And I said, "I am from England." I have to laugh because it really looks funny with my accent right now after 50 years, and at that time it was even worse. I meant because I came from England. After the war I was shipped to England, and I was in England three years. And I learned a little bit English, very little. But she says to me, "Really? I thought the English people speak better English than you." And that was really funny. But I made friends with her and after I came back and I sold her, she was a good customer for many years to come, for many years to come. But that was really funny: She says to me, "I thought people from England speak better English than you."
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