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Shockey selling out after 68 years

June 14, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

After 68 years of selling furniture, appliances, pianos and organs in downtown Hagerstown, 93-year-old John E. Shockey is retiring and closing his store.

A liquidation sale will begin Thursday and may run through August, Shockey said.

Everything is for sale, including the almost 170 organs and pianos, office furniture and even the eight-point buck mounted on an office wall.

"I guess I'll have to sell that, too," Shockey said. "My wife won't let me have it at home."

Earlier this year, Shockey sold the building to Williamsport developer Richard McCleary. McCleary also owns the former Delta Hosiery building and the Grand Building, both on the first block of West Washington Street.

McCleary has said he plans to spend about $1 million to renovate the Shockey's building and convert it for retail use on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors. The Shockey's building is four-stories tall and has about 38,000 square feet.

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Shockey, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, had planned to sell the building at 28-30 Summit Ave. and relocate the business.

"But we couldn't find the right size building," he said.

"I'm 93. I should have quit before," Shockey said.

Shockey opened his first store on West Franklin Street across from the post office in 1932. A couple of years later, Shockey bought and moved into the Summit Avenue building.

Shockey said he started his business in 1932 selling furniture. He then moved into selling appliances, and began selling pianos and organs 35 years ago, he said.

Shockey sent out more than 7,000 invitations for the first week of the going out of business sale, but said anyone is welcome.

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