Friday, February 28, 2014

Shoppe Talk's 20th Anniversary

20 Years in the Neighborhood 

     I have a great job.  It doesn't pay a lot of money, but there are perks. I get to spend time with some fine folks, learning about them and telling their stories.  I'm often told these little stories help their businesses.  This makes me feel good. Every job should have some warm and fuzzies.  I get to type on my computer at home in my PJs.  Get to make my own hours.  Take the day off if I find a new book that I must read RIGHT NOW.
    The little box on every Page 3 of Shoppe Talk states that I am the publisher. I am also the ad salesman, the writer, the lay-out gal, and the delivery person.  Before the days of color, I also printed ST for several years, but thankfully professional printer Gary Ward does that job now for my black and white.  So I was able to rid myself of my old AB Dick 360, a workhorse of a printer that came over on the Mayflower. 
    When I started ST, I bought a $70 waxer and borrowed a word processor from my friend Marvon Browning.  After 20 years, I still wax down the black and white pages, much to the amusement of friends and colleagues.  But, hey, they'll never experience that zen zone this Luddite process affords the waxer-upper.  But I have graduated from word processor to a Mac, so "I've got that going for me," as they say on Reddit
     In my first issue, March 1994, the main story was about Lady I's on Cantrell Road.  Over the years, I would write several stories about Ida Moose's unique little shop where she rented booth space for enterprising sellers of antiques, curios, clothing and junk.  That first issue had 22 ads in six pages - not a bad start, actually.  They were all centered around "the neighborhood," which was within a few blocks of my home in Foxcroft - 17 of the businesses on Cantrell Road.  It was great that my neighbors were so enthusiastic about my little ad rag, because I didn't have a working automobile and had to hoof it to sell my ads.
      Some of my first advertisers are still with me today.  Scallions is a good example:
    "Walking down the steps into Scallions' leafy courtyard in the spring is like visiting a good friend.  It's a warm, welcoming atmosphere.  You know your favorite dishes will always be on the menu. You leave, reluctantly, but with a smile. Scallions is more than just a great spot for lunch.  It is a restaurant where little girls eat chicken salad with the moms, and then order that same chicken salad for their wedding showers, baby showers and wedding anniversaries."  
      The restaurant's delightful owner, Rachael Crosby, is a friend and mah jongg buddy, and when we find time to play, she brings - the chicken salad. 
     From time to time, ST has veered into the area of news or opinion.  The first time was in the first year, fifth issue, when I reported on a meeting where Heights merchants were opposing the proposed closing of R Street so that Calvary Baptist Church could expand. One woman at the meeting, Pearl Bowen Pennington, said the church should "build up" by adding a balcony to its sanctuary.  "You'd be closer to heaven," ST quoted Ms. Pennington as saying.  But the Rev. Walter Draughon III nixed that idea, saying a balcony would create a communication problem and a "lack of warmth."  Dr. Draughon said, "We cannot go up, because there is only one way for us to go."  The wonderfully talented Charles Allbright noted the irony in the quote in a wry column in the Democrat-Gazette.  I was pleased, but a little puzzled, since I was persona non grata at the paper, where I had toiled for 10 years during the great newspaper war, got burned out, tried to start a union, was fired, and the paper fought my unemployment benefits - and it lost.  I shouldn't have been too pleased, because that was the last time ST was mentioned in the D-G to my knowledge. 
      In the area of opinion, I've written pieces against the Patriot Act, for gay rights, against development in the Lake Maumelle area, the inadvisability of Waste Management getting the curbside recycling contract, against poultry farm pollution of streams, and for doing away with the sales tax on food.
      In doing so, I've learned some things.  One thing is that Little Rock is a pretty gay-friendly city.  Feedback on issues such as gay marriage and gay adoption was pleasantly positive.  I only had a few complaints in the early days of running PFLAG endorsements.  I guess those folks stopped reading ST, and that's fine.
    It's very therapeutic to be able to blast off an editorial occasionally.  I wrote of the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II:  "These Machiavellian documents are bold grabs of power that strip away 200 years of rights guaranteed under the Constitution."  This rant was in the November 2003 issue, pre-Edward Snowden revelations.  Thank you, Mr. Snowden; may you get the Nobel Peace Prize. 
      Of course, most of ST's pages have been filled with stories about the keepers of small shops and locally owned restaurants.  Getting to tell their stories is a blessing. Their enthusiasm and innovation are inspiring.  Hard work, admirable.  And so many warm and funny tales of their experiences have shown me that it's true that everyone has a story in them. 
     Not all stories are about businesses.  One of my favorites was headlined "Something's Always Blooming in Mrs. Causey's Garden."  Margaret Causey once kept a beautiful garden at the corner of Cantrell and University.  She had strangers who'd been uplifted by the sight stop by to thank her, and, when they did, Margaret inevitably shared her plants with them. 
        If you're corny and you know it, clap your hands.  One thing that ST has cornered the market on over the years is corn.  My hubby, Jay King, calls this the "tie it up with a big red bow" effect.  It was an unfortunate phrase I used once and was never able to live down.  As a copy editor, when Jay's not pointing to an errant phrase in my copy and sneering "tie it up with a big red bow" to let me know my corn has run amok, he may be pointing  out "at ats." Although Jay has saved my butt, grammatically speaking, on countless occasions, this one got by us both. 
        An "at at" is ST argot for a typo.  An unfortunate typo in a headline on the top of the front page read:
Warren Criswell at
at Cantrell Gallery.
        It may look bad here, but, believe me, it looked worse in 42 point type.
        So we strain to cut down on "at ats."  This is where my friend Karen Proetz comes in. 
        Ms. Proetz is a primo copy editor.  Excellent.  Top drawer.  And, she does this for free, just to make ST a better publication and to save her friend from embarrassment.
        If you ever see an "at at" in ST, it's because I did not have time to run the story by Karen.  With our crazy color deadlines, sometimes I am literally writing stories minutes before they are sent to the color printer.
       That brings me to the lovely Kelley Naylor Wise, whose computer skills have brought me into the wonderful world of color.
      As early as the first year, ST was using color - one color that is.  For $5 for a small ad or $10 for a large one, an advertiser could add one color - typically red.
      Now, the ST front page is a color spectacular, an ocular orgasmic display, thanks to Mrs. Wise. 
      A happy happenstance brought this about.  I was talking with Eric Coleman, owner of Hillcrest Designer Jewelry, telling him how I wanted to get into color, but did not have the computer skills.  A few years before I had tried selling color ads first, and then figured I'd find someone to put them on the page when color advertisers thronged to ST.  Unfortunately no one beat down the ST door or even opened their own a crack to let us get a technicolor toe in.  (Sometimes a "tie it up with a big red bow"  does get by Jay.)
      Kelley, who was working with Mr. Coleman that  day in the shop, said she knew all about using Photoshop, and she'd love to bring ST into the 21st century.
      And Eric, bless his heart, volunteered that he'd be happy to place color ads with me.  
      Voila.  We have six color pages now and hope to grow.
      Another innovation was "This Is Arkansas," a blog I started in 2009 to put ST stories on line. I spend an inordinate amount of time playing with the stats counter, just thrilled silly with the number of folks who read the blog.
      One thing that has changed over the years, and maybe not for the better, is that ST no longer delivers door to door. 
       I really miss the kids who delivered for me.  They ranged from ages 8 to 18 and were a joy to work with. They delivered door to door in the Heights, Hillcrest, Pleasant Valley, Foxcroft and Robinwood. This was before our circulation area expanded to downtown, down Highway 10, Maumelle and other environs.
       Most of the kids lived in the areas they delivered, so their neighbors knew them.  They were dependable and enthusiastically walked the hilly areas where I could not deliver. (I worked level streets in the Heights and Hillcrest - preferably in the spring to satisfy my flower jones.)
      Perhaps my favorite delivery boy was a wee lad who covered Robinwood, his home turf.  Each time he finished, he'd call me and say simply and forcefully, "I want my money." 
      Ah, if we adults could only be so straightforward.  
      Thank you ST readers.
      And thanks to my advertisers, without whom I would not be still enjoying putting out this little pub.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shoppe Talk Profiles

Shoppe Talk Folk 

      So many wonderful people have blessed ST with their presence over the years. Many have allowed me to do profiles, so their neighbors could get to know them better. I'd like to present a sampling of some of their answers.  

What do you like to do in your spare time? 
    I hula hoop.  If I can't sleep, I'll go out at 4 o'clock at night and hula hoop.  I've got my neighbors doing it too."  Erika Robbins, co-owner of The Freckled Frog. 
    Read and spend time with my grandson.  I have every Tuesday with my grandson, "Tuesday with Nonni," we call it.  Mickey Drennan, co-owner of Destin Fun in the Sun.
     I like to go trout fishing.  I love the Little Red River.  My parents have a cabin on the Little Red.  Every chance I have, I escape there.  Debra Henry, owner of Fabrics, Etc. 
     My hobby is cycling, bicycling.  My wife is an artist and likes to garden.  Jim Allen, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited. 
     We belong to a ski club, but we don't ski.  We just like their trips and parties.  We went to Austria and France.  Elosie "Weezie" Lukas, wife of Bob Lukas, owner of Buck's Chimney Service. 
     I spend time with friends.  We've all got ailing parents, so we go to different people's houses on the weekend and mow and paint.  It feels good to do things for others.  There's no more gratifying thing than to help somebody who needs help.  And they don't have to ask; we keep an eye out to care for friends and neighbors.  Neysa Lewein, manager of Hillcrest Gallery. 
     I work seven days a week.  I probably need to stop doing that.  And I work at night.  I take leases and multiple other types of documents home, and I read until 10 or 11 at night.  Lou Schickel, owner of Pleasant Ridge Town Center. 
     I teach fitness classes at the Athletic Club and the Racquet Club and I help out Invisible Fence, training dogs on their system, which I guess is all really work.  Michelle Wilkerson, owner of Wags and Whiskers.
    We like to camp.  We love to go to the lake.  We just bought a house on the top of Petit Jean mountain.  We go to Heber and to Ouachita.  We love the outdoors.  I love to ride my motorcycle.  Murray Haupt, owner of Capitol Automotive.
     I love to cruise,  I have been on seven cruises and a mission trip to Honduras in '97.  Mexican people and Central American people … have more joy.  There is more happiness in people who live simply.  They have less, but they have more. Rachael Crosby, owner of Scallions.  


 Do you have any pets? 
      Ellie, our greeter,  She's an Australian terrier.  She's 31/2 years old.  She goes every day to work and greets everybody.  She's very fond of the mailman.  He brings her a dog bone every day.  She's always here.  I think some people come in just to see her. Renee Ikard, owner of Southern Trading. 
      We are down to three cats, and a dog, and a bird.  I'd have 20 cats if I could, but then I wouldn't have a husband any more.  Janet Jupin, owner of Jazzercise. 
      We have three dogs and a cat, Butterscotch.  He's a real hoot. He thinks he's a dog.  He's not real catty.  We have Bishop, a golden retriever who is eight years old, and an English cocker, Dottie, with black and white spots, who is a year old.  And my mother's dog, Daisy, an American cocker.  We took her in when my mother moved to an apartment a few years ago.  Daisy is 14.  The Rev. Betsy Singleton, who at the time was pastor at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church. 
     Miss Moneypenny, who is office greeter and "copy cat."  (She sleeps on the copying machine.)  We have a feral cat named Blondie.  At one time we had 11 cats in our backyard.  He (her husband, Bob) trapped every one of them and took them to the vet and had them neutered. He's a very kind man.  Eloise "Weezie" Lukas, wife of Bob Lukas, owner of Buck's Chimney Service. 
     I have two kitties.  Chiclet, who is the smartest cat I ever met and a fetcher.  She a talker.  She's very opinionated.  She is 10, and my other kitty, JC, is 9.  JC is a big girl …  She is very sweet.  She turned into a lap cat last year, all 16 pounds of her.  When she sits on you, you know you've been sat on.  Both of my kitties are FURR adoptees, rescues.  Ellen Stern, owner of Relocation Resources for Seniors. 
     I have a dog named Mpingo.  How did you come up with that name?  Mpingo is a tree in Africa.  When you cut it open, it's black.  She's all black, an Akita.  She will be two years old in July.  Jonda White, owner of Spaology Nail Spa & More. 

What is your favorite city?
     Tucson on this side of the pond.  And any place in Ireland.  And I like Boston.  Ellen Stern, owner of Relocation Resources for Seniors.  
     I backpacked for a couple of years in Europe.  But Jerusalem is my favorite.  Jerusalem is a fascinating city.  I was there in '76.  And I stayed on a kibbutz for about six months.   Greg Hart, owner of Southern Office Services.  
     Taos, New Mexico, or Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  I really love it out west.  If we go out of the country, I like literally 'end-of-the-road' places where no one speaks English.  Dr. Blake Weber , owner of Blake H. Weber, DDS, PA.
     New York - Manhattan.  San Francisco, and I like Chicago.  I love the big cities.  Lou Schickel, owner of Pleasant Ridge Town Center. 

What's the strangest thing in your refrigerator?
     An insane amount of Haribo gummy bears and blue Gatorade.  I live off those things.  Erika Robbins, co-owner of The Freckled Frog. 
     Quendy Gaither made these cookies, and one was a snowman.  He is about three inches long, and he lives in there. He's like controlling the refrigerator.  He's always there for me when I open the door.  Ella Carol Hunt, owner of Caracalla.
     Homemade experimental facial remedies.  My kids never know what it is.  What is this?  Don't eat it!  Felicia Watkins, owner of My Home Therapy. 
     A tube of Chanel pink lipstick.  I'd hate for it to melt in my purse.  The Rev. Holly Patton, who at the time was pastor of Pulaski Heights Christian Church.

If you could have a dream dinner party and invite any three people, who would you choose?
     Mother Teresa, Katherine Hepburn, and Eleanor Roosevelt  … I want four at my party - Golda Meir too … I think we (five) could have some incredible conversations.  Naomi Hall, owner of TouchPoint. 
     Einstein.  John Kennedy.  George Washington and Abe Lincoln.  That's four.  (That's okay.)  And John Lennon. Debra Henry, owner of Fabrics, Etc. 
     Tony Hawk.  He's the world's greatest skateboarder, ever.  We'd have to have Jerry Garcia.  And Abe Lincoln.  Brandon McCormack, owner of Hillcrest Jewelers & Trade Shop. 
     I would invite my three tennis buddies, Jerry Saubers, Lee Ronnel, and Marion Burton.  We've been tennis buddies for 30 plus years, playing three times a week.  And John Magee, the young man who was just sitting here.   Lou Schickel, owner of Pleasant Ridge Town Center. 
     We've been in our house about a year, and while remodeling, we couldn't do much entertaining.  Truthfully, we'd like to see people who are our friends.  We constantly say we need to get together.  Our fantasy is making reality happen, seeing just regular people who are our friends.   The Rev. Betsy Singleton, who at the time was pastor at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church. 
     Bill Gates, Albert Pujols and Warren Buffett.  Craig Reinhardt, owner of CustomNeeds, LLC.
     The Budda, Gandhi, and Elvis.  Kelley Naylor Wise, Little Rock artist.  

What's your favorite movie?
     Fried Green Tomatoes.  Kim Bomar, owner of Salon Bella. 
     Billy Elliot.  It's an English film about a young boy who lost his mother.  His coal miner father sends him to a boxing gym, where he stumbles onto a ballet class.  He wants to learn ballet.  It's 
about loving someone for what is their true nature.  There's this moment at an audition when they ask him what he feels like when he dances.  He says, 'Like a bird, like I'm free, like electricity.' That's what yoga feels like.  Cassandra Smith, owner of The Floating Lotus. 
     Out of Africa.  Sylvia Payne, owner of  Kahler Payne. 
     Dirty Dancing.  This is pretty embarrassing.  Michelle Wilkerson, owner of Wags & Whiskers.
     The Blind SideCraig Reinhardt, owner of CustomNeeds, LLC.
     Pretty Woman.  Murray Haupt, owner of Capitol Automotive.
     The original 1936 version of The Women.  Rachael Crosby, owner of Scallions.
     The Lion King.  Jonda White, owner of Spaology Nail Spa & More. 

Do you like to cook?  No!  My family actually told me not to cook.  "Don't worry about it any more, mom."  And it didn't hurt my feelings at all.  Michelle Wilkerson, owner of Wags and Whiskers.

What's the strangest thing you carry in your car?
     It's not strange to me, but it might be to other people.  I always have swim fins in my car.  Gary Taylor, co-owner of Go! Running.

What is your favorite flower?
     The Gerber daisy.  Peggy McKenzie, co-owner of McKenzie Landscaping.

Is there anything you'd like to learn how to do?  
    I'd like to learn how to skydive.  Or, at best, I'd like to skydive once.  It's a huge metaphor for life.  You see it from a higher perspective - and jump in!  Naomi Hall, owner of TouchPoint. 
     I'd love to learn how to sculpt cement.  Years ago I did cake decorating.  I'd love to do similar things in cement on a big scale.  I could happily play in concrete.  In my next profession, I'll become a concrete sculptor - and garden on the side.  Eloise Leffingwell, co-owner of Pickles & Ice Cream.
     Fly a helicopter and hang glide.  Elisabeth Clark, owner of Sirius Spa. 
     I did that about six to eight years ago.  I took up flying.  I was in my early 40s … had to reset my brain and learn all that material.  Dr. Blake Weber , owner of Blake H. Weber, DDS, PA.

What is your favorite restaurant?
     Brave New Restaurant.   The Rev. Holly Patton, who at the time was pastor of Pulaski Heights Christian Church. 
     Scallions.  I love that great afternoon lunch in the outdoor area.  Neysa Lewein, manager of Hillcrest Gallery. 
     Whole Foods.  Seriously, I'm there every day.  Michelle Wilkerson, owner of Wags and Whiskers.
     Starving Artist Cafe.  Greg Hart, owner of Southern Office Services.  
     Ciao's downtown on 7th Street. Mike Margolis, owner of Gallery Four. 
     Igibon. Catherine Carraway, owner of Catherine & Co.
     Vesuvio in West Little Rock.  Kim Bomar, owner of Salon Bella.
     Boulevard Bread.  Theo Lever, co-owner of Bugabooo Massage Clinic. 
     Sushi Cafe on Kavanaugh.  Jeff Byers, co-owner of Go Green Box. 

What do you like to read?
     I like to read what I call "cosy mysteries," like Agatha Christie.  I want a body in the pantry and then you solve the crime.  Sylvia Payne, owner of  Kahler Payne. 
     Inspirational.  I love the book, The Power of Now.  Jonda White, owner of Spaology Nail Spa & More. 
     I read a lot of different magazines, and I like spy thrillers.  I like John La Carre and James Lee Burke.  I like the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Robert Ludlum.  Tom Clancy.  Dr. Blake Weber, owner of Blake H. Weber, DDS, PA.
     I read newspapers, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, local papers.  A lot of periodicals related to the development business and the dry cleaning business.  Lou Schickel, owner of Pleasant Ridge Town Center. 

What would be on your recommended reading list?  Kathryn Stockett's The Help.  South of Broad by Pat Conroy and any book of poetry by Mary Oliver.  The Rev. Holly Patton, who at the time was pastor of Pulaski Heights Christian Church. 

What would you like to see Little Rock do differently?
     I appreciate the fact they did the bike paths and dog areas, and the Big Dam Bridge is awesome.  I'd like to see those kinds of things in all areas of town.  It gives a comradely safe feeling.  It makes people feel more loved and safe and encourages health.  Ella Carol Hunt, owner of Caracalla.
     No.  I'm so happy to be here.  I think this is the best kept secret in the country.  Nancy Tesmer, co-owner of Lilly's Dim Sum, Then Some. 
    Yes.  I would like them to value their old neighborhoods more - like Hillcrest and Capitol View - and spend money there instead of expansion out west.  Alleys need to be cleaned and used and our sidewalks maintained.  That gets people walking. When people are out walking, it cuts down on crime.  Sylvia Payne, owner of  Kahler Payne.
     Help kids with values and morals and have activities for them.  At the Dunbar school, they have a garden where they teach kids how to plant things.  Go back to hard work and innocent days.  And have more parks.  Jonda White, owner of Spaology Nail Spa & More. 

 What would you like to see our country do differently?
      I would like to see our country remember that it is our children who are going to be fighting the battles and other mothers' children in other countries.  Golda Meir said, "We will not have peace until we love our sons more than we love revenge."  Naomi Hall, owner of TouchPoint. 
     Turn its eye to people taking control of their own health care.  It begins at the table.  Everybody's grandmother was right - you are what you eat.   Nancy Tesmer, co-owner of Lilly's Dim Sum, Then Some. 
     I think we're doing pretty good. … Look at the wealth, and its not just in the big cities.  There is no place in the world like America.  The rest of the world can't even touch us.  It's a different game.  Lou Schickel, owner of Pleasant Ridge Town Center. 
      I'd like for it to concentrate on America a bit more - providing for the needs of the people.  They say if you can take care of yourself first, you can help others better.  Greg Hart, owner of Southern Office Services.  
     I'd like them to stop the war and take care of our own.  'Love" is a big word, but I think we need more love.  People were reaching out, helping the Katrina victims.  I think that showed a lot of compassion.  I was impressed.  Debra Henry, owner of Fabrics, Etc.
     Not enough attention is being paid to the economy.  We have the worst deficit ever in the history of the U.S. When Bush went into office, it was a plus.  And it hasn't been that long.  It's like he doesn't care.  Elisabeth Clark, owner of Sirius Spa. 
     I think if we could focus on peace more this would be a much better place.  Wesley Crocker, owner of Dancing Like the Stars in the Heights.  

  Tell us about your family. 
      I am the child of a single mother, Loretta Lever, who was a very meaningful influence on my life, even now.  She's the business manager (of Bugabooo), so we work alongside one another.  I think it's great to have someone on your team who wants to see you excel and will push you to your potential.  She's a pretty strong business lady, so I think I am pretty lucky.  Not to say it doesn't come with challenges, but she's a good mom and a good business partner.  I am very blessed to be where I am in my life, and a lot of that comes from having a strong mother.  Theo Lever, co-owner of Bugabooo Massage Clinic. 
     I have a daughter, Shera Henry.  She is the light of my life.  She survived the hurricane (Katrina).  Shera came to work in the store (in Little Rock) for two or three months.  She has a natural talent; she was great at it.  She has an anthropology degree and is looking for work (in New Orleans).  The place where she was working is still closed.  Debra Henry, owner of Fabrics, Etc. 
     I am just really, really blessed.   My mom and my grandfather were very close to me.  If I had a fraction of my grandfather's character, I would be a really good person.  Wesley Crocker, owner of Dancing Like the Stars in the Heights. 
     My wife passed away in '06.  I am raising my grandchildren.  I am surrounded by three beautiful grandchildren:  Gabrielle, 12, Isaiah, 11, and Kalob, 9.  They keep me young.  We do lots of things for the holidays.  We like to get on the internet and find different things to cook.  We all get together and enjoy ourselves.  They are just as happy as I am.  I have always been that way, but it looks like, as I grow older, it just increases.  I laugh a lot and enjoy life.  Steve Ray, owner of Ray's Massage Therapy.  
     I have two teenage boys, both seniors at Central.  Paul is 18, and Hunter is 17.  I have a daughter, Jessica, who is 12 in 7th grade and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her mom.  I am incredibly blessed with all three of my kids.  They are smart and handsome and beautiful, really good kids.  Dr. Blake Weber , owner of Blake H. Weber, DDS, PA.

Is there anything you'd like to change about yourself?
     A lot.  I am too impatient and way too much of a multitasker. The Rev. Holly Patton, who at the time was pastor of Pulaski Heights Christian Church. 
    No, I love me.  Felicia Watkins, owner of My Home Therapy. 
    As we got into this project, one day I woke up and realized I'd yelled at about six people in the last week.  Then I wrote down who the six people were, and I realized all of them were people who were breaking their backs to help me.  And I vowed to quit yelling at people.  My contractor might not think so.   Lou Schickel, owner of Pleasant Ridge Town Center. 

What would you do if you won a large lottery?
     First of all, I'd pay people to hide me.  Felicia Watkins, owner of My Home Therapy. 
     There's no question, I would buy a school bus.  I'd drive around and pick up stray animals and build a shelter for them and take care of them for the rest of their lives.  My other fantasy would be to build a shelter for homeless women and teach them trades so they would become employable.   Nancy Tesmer, co-owner of Lilly's Dim Sum, Then Some. 
     I would probably build a shelter for the homeless.  I have this great need in my heart to help people.  I would pay off my daughter's student loans and then reach out and spread the wealth among the less fortunate.  Debra Henry, owner of Fabrics, Etc. 
     I would sell my business, buy 200 acres of land somewhere, build a house, start a garden, and start inviting people up.  I'd cook and plant to my heart's content.  Eloise Leffingwell, co-owner of Pickles & Ice Cream. 
     I'd contact my attorney and make sure our finances were set right before I did anything.  Mike Margolis, owner of Gallery Four. 
     I would pay all my bills off, buy a comfortable home to live in, and definitely give back.  I would help the homeless, give to cancer research and try to help the system with foster kids, especially kids who have more than one sibling, so they can stay together.  And I would try to help Haiti.  Jonda White, owner of Spaology Nail Spa & More. 
     The first thing, family things … all my family members and extended family members, pay off their houses.  And give a big chunk to the church and create a charitable organization.  So, I've got a plan - if anybody wins and wants to share the booty.  Dr. Blake Weber , owner of Blake H. Weber, DDS, PA.