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Uncle Stan's Relocating
MARION, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -
One of the most iconic stores in the corridor is packing up and moving out. Everyone knows it by the soldier standing outside by the door. Uncle Stans Military Surplus opened on the corner of 7th Avenue and 9th Street in Marion more than 21 years ago. Owner Keith Post says all he ever wanted to do is run the kind of army supply store he used to visit as a kid. He says he could always tell the new customers because they would walk through the front door and say wow, this is mind-boggling, then try to shuffle sideways through the packed isles. Wednesday you could find Keith amid stacks of boxes, packing up. He says a new building owner gave him 28 days to move out and he just figured it was time to call it quits. The first thing I thought of was fishing ,. go to the casino .. sleep late .. retire, hold a big sale . . and the employees were gonna lynch me and the customers were gonna lynch me.
He says that left him no choice but to find a new building at 901 50th Street near Walmart behind the BP gas station. Moving two decades of racks and shelves of military merchandise dating back as far as the Spanish American War is no easy task. Three helpers are packing ammo containers, sliding racks of sunglasses and belts into vans and taping boxes as fast as they can to deploy further east. Keith says over the years you could just never predict what might come through the front door. He points to a 300 pound dog tag printing machine that still works. He says moms want them for their children and high school sports teams often order them with names and slogans. Then he recounts the tale of a woman who got out of a Mercedes on a snowy night and asked if he would give her $100 for a pair of rare German daggers. He sold them years later for a tidy profit.
But Keith admits the military surplus has changed a little over the years. Among the clothing waiting to be boxed is a stack of pink cammo pants. We cheat a little. You call this fashion cammo and the gals really like it. You can see its not for a guy.
It all goes, to the bare walls, the boots, the belts, the patches from Viet Nam and the old newspaper clippings about all the years on this corner. Keith says when its loaded up, one of the last things to go will be his soldier out front. Hes going right out there with us .. hes a big priority and hell be standing out there showing people where were at in the new place.
Keith vows to open that new store on Black Friday. He says it wont look like Younkers and it may be a little messy, but he says the customers are already used to that.