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Independents Day

A summer night in the Bronx has a unique vibe.

But it’s the smell you notice first!

Looking to avoid the crowded trains and required mask-wearing from Stamford to the Bronx, I eschewed my normal train ride and drove to Yankee Stadium for the first time in two-seasons.

Rarely do I get to play with two of my addictions, driving and cigar smoking, at the same time. The smell in the car the next day (week!) hardly worth the thrill. Also, I rarely drive further than the grocery store alone. And I want my fiancee Gaetana to smell better than my ashtray!

Contemplating my hour-long and likely top-down post-game drive home, I slipped a cigar and lighter into the cup holder of the Jeep and pointed the four-wheeler south. The last time I was in the Stadium in October of 2019, I was an independent paint dealer. Who had never heard the word Covid.

Parking at 164th Street and Sheridan Avenue, because Bronx knows where to park on game-day without paying, I cut through Joyce Kilmer Park and strolled the final steps of my return to the ballpark.

The heat of the day more familiar to an August afternoon, than to June’s last night.

Driving also made another treat possible. I left 30-minutes early to allow time for a trip to the Court Deli. For Bronx’s second-best pastrami sandwich and a potato knish!

A significant upgrade over the ordinary Yankee Stadium fare. And it’s the Bronx! So there’s no need to remind them to overstuff your sandwich!

Late last week the first site using version two site of THE Revolution, my web and e-commerce site for independent paint dealers, went “live.”

Aucutt’s Paint in Clovis, New Mexico is owned by Tisha Brothers.

A 5th generation paint dealer!

An AllPro member in her 20th year as a paint dealer, Tisha is a single store PPG architectural and automotive dealer who also sells Corotech and several of the other non-branded product available from Benjamin Moore.

And she has great taste in swag!

While now a live site it is not quite complete. In the coming days we will work on a short punch-list of issues, primarily changing pictures, making security settings and correcting prices.

While getting the site ready for Tisha we are finalizing our process for "popping-up" these sites. When we launch, I'm hoping to promise prospective dealers a two-week set-up time.

Which means I'll want them ready in a week. Or less!

A New Era

In September of 2020 the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA), the primary trade group representing independent paint retailers for over 75-years, was subsumed into the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). NRHA is a similar though larger trade organization representing independent hardware retailers. The resulting group, the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) now represents the continents approximately 45,000 independent hardware and paint stores.

The Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Office of the NHPA is Dan Tratensek and he joined me recently on my pod and vlog casts for independent paint dealers, "Mark, My Words!" Dan shares his organization's plans to engage with paint dealers as the NHPA transitions from hardware, to paint and hardware.

Paint dealers, especially independents who are not part of another national group, should be thrilled with the added representation. A sizable trade organization, the NHPA has the resources to accomplish what the PDRA had never been able to: true support and advocacy of the independent paint dealer channel.

You can listen to Dan share the training, lobbying and research efforts his group is making here on my own site, Soundcloud or on Apple podcasts. If you’re into watching, you can check us out on my own site here or on my Youtube channel. It's worth the watch! Dan has a cool collection of sports and music memorabilia on his home-office walls.

The Buck Never Stops

After a week of hiking and camping in the mountains around Burlington, Vermont, my daughter Buck Wheat ends her peregrination with a stop in Stamford this week.

Meaning by next week this blog should be much funnier!


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