Updated: 3 days ago
If the story is good enough, the book will write itself!
That’s how I feel about my family’s time at Tremont Paint: the stories are so rich they write themselves. All I have ever had to do is sit down and think about them, and my fingers have always started tapping.
As I’ve been spending time thinking about life outside a paint store, I admit I’ve worried if those stories of my time as an independent retailer are my “Samson’s Hair?” The very source of my creativity!
It’s a silly thing to worry about really. But if I don’t worry about losing my muse, I’ll end up worrying that I made a mistake selling my family’s 112-year-old legacy.
And I just don’t want to worry that much!
On Monday, after 112 years of continuous operation by a member of the Lipton family, Tremont Paint was acquired by Janovic Paints. Janovic is also a New York institution, with a family history that connected with mine several times over the generations. It was a good fit; for me and all my employees (who gratefully were all retained).
After the cigars had all burned out, my fiancée Guy and I had one last cry on the couch. It’s an impressive accomplishment for one family: 112 years of success! I’m proud of what I have been a part of; well worth a few tears. I’m proud of all who came before me, and I’m proud of myself! With 25 years as the “captain” of the family ship, I took a generous turn at the helm.
But since Monday, I’ve started moving on. If you feel that’s a bit anti-climactic, I’d have to agree! I expected at least one more emotional piece from my fingers!
But most of the emotion is behind me now.
I spent the day today paying off my final bills. Hopefully, with a few more days of work I can have my desk cleared enough that I can use it again. I could do without all this paperwork.
But in between the paperwork, there have been lots of calls and emails. There are others, not named Lipton, who will mark the passing of time by the closing of Tremont Paint.
Every month for almost 93 years, a Lipton wrote a check to Pacoa. Pacoa is a local distributor (we used to call them jobbers) that we have used from their beginning. The current owner, Steve Geismar is the grandson of Teddy Geismar. My great-grandfather Isaac was one of Teddy’s first customers; buying brushes and rollers from the back of Teddy’s car.
Ninety three years is a long time to run and only come in second place! But the longest relationship in our 112 years was with Benjamin Moore. They went the distance: wire-to-wire.
Now, these names will have to fade to memory. Over 40 years with Arrow Roller, 30 with Rick’s Painting, JM Charles Painting didn’t survive to the end-but they were our largest customer for most of their 75 years with us, State Painting rode along for over 50 years: I could go on!
Still though, all this talk about the past over the last few months leaves me wanting to talk about the future now.