Clothier wraps up business today

August 29, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

Saying goodbye is never easy.

For the customers and the longtime owners of Sanford's clothing shop in Brooklyn it was a week of memories and tears. Today, the Brooklyn landmark closes its doors.

"When you stay in one spot for 55 years, you bond with these people," said Jayne Berger, who grew up in the family business with her sister, Lillian Siegel. "They're not customers. They're friends. When you have mothers and grandmothers invite you to weddings, it ceases to be a business."

Three and four generations of families have passed through the business's doors over the years, buying goods ranging from ties to dresses to Howdy Doody shoes.

The shop opened in 1938 on a three-block street, surrounded by wilderness. Back then, it was known as the Brooklyn Family Store.

Philip Finglass gave the store his son's name when Sanford Finglass graduated from high school in 1946 and joined the business.

Philip and his wife, Fannie, worked side-by-side all their lives. Gradually, their children took over.

Hard times didn't force Sanford's to close its doors. The business has drawn a steady, loyal clientele from Severna Park to Gibson Island. And Mr. Finglass, like his sisters, knows all the customers by their first names.

No, it was Mr. Finglass' desire to do something else that led him to close the store on his 66th birthday.

"It's time," he said, with his wife, Sylvia, standing near him. "We've been here for 55 years. It's been a long time. But it's been good. "I'd like to start traveling and see my children."

The couple's three children are spread across the country. Joel, 33, works in the front office of the Dallas Cowboys. Larry, 26, works in the front office of the Los Angeles Rams. Daughter Marla Levin, 30, is a teacher in Philadelphia.

State Sen. Philip C. Jimeno sponsored a Senate congratulatory resolution that recognized Sanford's years of friendly service to the community.

Senator Jimeno's wife, Ramona, brought her daughter and her mother, Evelyn Gregory, to the shop Thursday to present the TC resolution and indulge in a little last-minute browsing.

"You would go out and nobody would have what you had on," said Mrs. Jimeno. "They not only know your name, they've known you since you were 10 years old. You don't have that anymore."

If Sanford's didn't have what you were looking for, family members would try to find it when they went on buying trips.

"It's just like losing family, having them close this store," said Mrs. Gregory, who bought her wedding dress at the store in June 1944.

A tanning salon next door will move into the space once the business closes.

"We're not leaving the neighborhood with an empty building that's going to be boarded up," Mrs. Finglass said.

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