Goodbye, Old Friend

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE

Saturday was the last day Orchard Hardware Supply (OSH) on Foothill was open for business. It was a shock to the community in August when OSH’s parent company, Lowe’s, announced that all OSH stores would be closed. Lowe’s rescued OSH by purchasing the company in 2013 after it filed for Chapter 11; however, after five years Lowe’s decided to close the home improvement stores.

Closing the local stores took months and during that time many community members stopped by the La Crescenta location to say goodbye to store employees, some who had been with the company for over 20 years. The OSH workers were respectful and thanked those who said goodbye.

As the last day approached, the employees could be seen gathering together like a family not wanting to part from each other. It is rare that large companies have such a small town feel, but OSH’s managers were generous with donations to the community and employees could often be heard commenting on how much kids had grown when they entered the store. The “do-it-yourself” wisdom was also available; whether regarding paints or plants, it was shared with anyone who asked.