Long-time downtown business says goodbye.
After 40 years in business Ewing Radio and Electronics, at 219 N. Washington Ave., will be closing its doors on Dec. 31. Family-owned since day one, Ewing's has become known for their commitment to their customers and their level of service.
Robert "Bob" Ewing opened the business in Dec. of 1972 just a few buildings over from the store's current location. Ewing had apprenticed under Edwin Schrag in the years following World War II, learning the radio trade. When Schrag retired, Ewing took over after some encouragement from the local factory heads.
"They wouldn't hire him because they wanted a radio shop in town," said Janette Guinn, Ewing's daughter.
Ewing spent years installing radio antennas around the city and maintaining the sound systems at the local manufacturing plants. The PA system still used in downtown Wellington was installed by Ewing.
Always family-minded, Ewing included his children in every aspect of the business. His two sons, Bruce and Brad, were taught all about sound systems and electronics repair.
"The rule was, you had to be in junior high before you could do anything," said Brad.
Guinn, who had married and left town after school, returned in 1981 to take over bookkeeping duties and has been at the store ever since.
"This is life as we've known it for many years," she said.
When the elder Ewing passed away in Apr. 2005, Bruce, Brad and Janette inherited the business and decided to keep running it just as their father had.
According to Guinn the decision to close the business was not an easy one.
"We're very sad about closing. And it's not about the Verizon store or anything else in the community," she said. "It's just time."
Brad Ewing went on to say the current economic climate played a part in the decision.
"There are thousands of little stores like ours that aren't making it," he said. "It's just hard to compete with the on-line sellers."
Wellington, obviously, is not the only town to be hit by the swift change in preference to internet retailers. Local Chamber of Commerce Director, Shelley Hansel-Williams, said mom and pop stores across the country are hurting.
"It's an unfortunate sign of the times. We need to look at our habits and decide if they're worth losing parts of our community."
In the end, Guinn said she hoped Ewings Radio and Electronics would be remembered for its customer service.
"We tried to treat everyone like family."