Century-old hardware store closing
John Cotchen is retiring as owner of Moxham Hardware.
When his father-in-law, Joseph Krissay, asked him to help out at Moxham Hardware for awhile, he agreed.
Fifty five years later, "I never left," the soft-spoken Cotchen said with a gentle smile.
Cotchen, 83, has owned the store since cotchen died in 1984.
While the products have changed considerably since the store opened in 1907, Cotchen said its dedication to its customers and neighborly atmosphere have not.
"We've tried to remain an old-fashioned, mom-and-pop hardware," the 83-year-old proprietor said, adding that Moxham Hardware targeted customers who "didn't want to go up on the hill" to the big-box hardware stores.
Dozens of customers lined the aisles last week, looking for sale tags on all the merchandise: paints, glues, lawn equipment, tools, and more. Outside the business at 600 Central Ave., all the windows were covered with florescent pink store closing signs.
As the merchandise is sold, it won't be replaced. Cotchen called the turnout during the sale "overwhelming."
"I'll miss it," said Richard Collins, 76, of Benscreek as he bought a can of stain. "This is a good store. They have tremendous service and everything you need."
Cotchen said he routinely works six of seven days a week and only gets to see his wife a few hours each evening.
After all the merchandise is liquidated, probably in late December, Cotchen said he intends to enjoy retirement. Though he has no immediate plans, he said he and his wife enjoy traveling.
They took a trip down the Rhine River between Switzerland and Amsterdam in June, and have been to Europe and other foreign countries over the years.
"It's time to go," Cotchen said.