Store will be brimming with unique items rangng from special Dewar's Oildorado chocolate chew to souveniers of all types
Taft Oildorado Days store and headquarters in the old Pioneer Mercantile building will hold a grand opening at 10 a.m. on Aug. 21.
Oildorado president Eric Cooper said his committee has been working to get the ground floor of the historic building ready for the opening.
“We’ve put a lot of work into this, and I think it will pay off,” he said. “I think the community is going to be impressed with what we’ve done. We’re looking forward to the opening. The store will be fully stocked with merchandise.”
He said the store for the 100th anniversary of the city’s incorporation will offer a large variety of items.
“We will be offering much more than at any other Oildorado celebration,” he said. “I think people will be impressed.”
Among unique items will be a full line of merchandise specific to Taft’s oil field heritage.
“We are doing a twist on the popular “Old Guys Rule” thing and calling our collection “Oil Guys Rule,” he said. “One of the items will be an Oil Guys Rule lawn chair.
“We’ll have all sorts of unique merchandise like the Dewar’s special Oildorado Chew (chocolate with a peanut butter center), flair hats (visors with hair sprouting from them), Oildorado playing cards, wallets and coolers.
“We’ll have specially-labeled Taft bottled water and a special Maggie Blackwell 100th anniversary print, and there will be a corner of the store dedicated to the oil workers monument where Benjamin Victor will appear.”
Victor is the monument sculptor.
Cooper said the store will be stocked with a wide variety of clothing, such as T-shirts, golf and polo shirts, and a line of clothes for infants, toddlers and children.
There will be a line of Tessie Garratt merchandise along with a wooden nickel collectors edition.
“We’re also going to have a selection of fun retro candies that you just don’t see in stores anymore,” Cooper said. “And, for the first time, the Oildorado store will be able to take debit and credit cards.”
Dave Taylor’s Fastrip will provide a complimentary coffee bar at the store.
Getting the store together has been a community affair, Cooper said.
“It’s just been incredible. Everybody we’ve asked has come through.”
Other donations include a stereo system and speaker from Gary Rennie, a 54-inch flat screen television, refrigerator and three bistro sets from Ray Wooldridge of Pearsey’s Rentals, free Internet, cable and phone service from Brighthouse Networks, and an alarm system from M & S Security Services.
Others who have pitched in include Dennis Schertz (electrical work), Dennis Eubanks and helpers Eric and Darren (construction), Craig Scholelfield (window cleaning), Glenn Black (plumbing), Dick Winslow (display tables and fixtures).
Others helping to get the building ready with cleaning, painting and other duties include Jan Ashley, Paul Linder, Cindy Patterson, Don Swearingen, Vickie Scholefield, Sheri Black, Kathy Orrin, Sharon Hill, Debbie Potaczala and Dennis McCall.