Steve's Sundry - Hoping To Keep History Alive - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Steve's Sundry - Hoping To Keep History Alive

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The old fashioned cash register evokes a nostalgia for shopping back in the good old days, which is a little ironic, since that's how business has been done at Steve's Sundry forever.

"67 years, that's a long time.," said owner Joan Stephenson.

Especially during the digital age, which has siphoned more and more customers, sometimes even sapping customers' manners.

"Person that was with him said, 'Oh you need this book,' he said, 'Oh you can get that on Amazon,'" she said.

But you know what you can't get online...

"Hi Lou, $4.95 dear," said Joan.

This interaction right here, where the elderly gentleman is trying to buy a magazine that Joan politely reminds him he may already own.

"That's an August preview so you might have that one," she said.

And he realizes it, and the sale is canceled.

"That's what I thought. All right honey," she smiled.

That type of courtesy doesn't compute for the bottom line, but here at Steve's customers are called something else.

"They're family," she said.

That sounds as old fashioned as the milk shake machine at the back of the store.

"I mean this is like my second home.," said Jerry Whythe.

And it should when Jerry tells you what year he started working here.

"I've been here since 1977," he said.

There he is, 4th from the left back in 1983, up on the lunch menu, not far from the cheeky display for the store's phone number which two old fashioned ladies harrumphed.

"We did have a couple ladies get a little upset about that, yeah, they didn't like that," he smiled.

But what those ladies would surely dislike is news that Steve's is closing.

"Everybody is in various stages of grief," said Joan.

Coping with a different definition of the digital divide.

"Huge difference between love that place, but actually going in and spending money," she said.

The difference between a museum piece on display, and a little slice of history still in the present.

"You know the legacy of the store, I guess I would feel like a bit of the legacy left," said Jerry.

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