Newlyweds beat the weather odds

Monday, March 19, 2007

Koren and Ryan Hunt of Perryville, Mo., were delighted when it rained on their wedding day.

"We had half the town watching the weather," Koren said. Her friends and colleagues hoped it would rain at least an inch, and on that particular day last month, it poured.

As a result, the newly married couple received a $2,000 refund on a diamond engagement ring from Hilderbrand Jewelers.

Typically the odds work in owner Kevin Hilderbrand's favor. It has to rain at least 1 inch, determined by the National Weather Services computerized weather station at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport. Also to qualify for the refund -- up to $3,000 -- the wedding must be 30 days to two years from when the ring was purchased. Oh, and you have to buy the ring from Hilderbrand's store on North Main Street in Perryville, Mo.

Now that there's a winner, the first in the three years since the bet started, I wonder if guys will take a pecuniary gamble and purchase the expensive ring for their lady. Win or lose, she'll be happy, I'm sure.

* Laurie Anne Everett, owner of Annie Laurie's Antiques, 536 Broadway in Cape Girardeau, is offering a course from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, April 3 to 24, at Southeast Missouri State University. It's called "Discovering and Decorating with Antiques."

Everett has noticed a trend since she bought the store six months ago. Antiquing seems to be appealing to a different market today -- high school and college students.

Sure enough, some young women were in the shop when I stopped by last week. One customer was a fashion design major from the university. She was purchasing vintage clothing.

Laurie's antique shop, once a funeral home, was built in 1865. She and her husband, Rocky, renovated the upstairs. They are working on remodeling the entire building. The antique store looks to be full of buried treasures, and their home is just plain buried. The kitchen also serves as a bedroom for now.

For Laurie, antiquing is a lifestyle. "I think I should have been born in a different era," she said.

"Victorian, retro, vintage antiques -- we have something for everyone," she said. "Depends what interests you."

I took a look at a century-old studio camera, priced at $1,500. It was one of the more expensive items in the shop.

* Allstate Insurance Co. opened a new agency on Walton Drive in Jackson on March 1.

"This will be a full-service insurance agency, offering a complete line of insurance products and services," owner Jeff Owens said.

* Lane Bryant, the leading retailer in plus-size clothing for women, is relocating from West Park Mall to the Lambert Plaza in Cape Girardeau. The grand opening is set for April 20.

"We were due for a remodel," said store manager Peggy Murray. She's worked at the store in the mall since it opened about 15 years ago.

Before the April 20 grand opening at the new location, there will be a clearance sale in the old store with a 40 percent discount on almost everything.

* In Jackson, Dairy Queen owner Sarah Thompson changed the name to American Ice Cream on March 2. The ice cream is still the same.

"I thought we'd go out on our own," she said. "I didn't think it would hurt anything."

Thompson's father, Jim, ran the South Hope Street ice cream shop for 50 years.

* 2 North Bistro has joined the downtown Cape bar scene. It now opens at 8 p.m. While it no longer serves entrees, it still serves gourmet pizzas.

* According to the general manager of the Jackson Wal-Mart, Ray Crumb, the rumor that the store will relocate to the East Main Street interchange and become a larger supercenter has not been confirmed or denied. "We don't know until the day it happens," he said.

Tim Krakowiak is the business editor at the Southeast Missourian. Contact him at 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699, tkrakowiak@semissourian.com or (573) 335-6611, extension 137

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