Ben Wosk: Opening a Second Hand Store on Granville Street

Posted by jyuhasz

Ben Wosk, seated in front of window
Rights - JMABC
Wosk, Ben
Vancouver, BC
Dodek, Irene
Thursday, April 21, 1983
Digital audio recording #: 19.83-01
BW:       I went out and I got very friendly with [Boothe] that was a police officer that used to walk this beat down there. So I asked him, “Where do you think I should open a store?” So we looked around and he said, “I think right here, 1200 block Granville Street is the best.” There was plenty of empty stores.
ID:          Were there? And it was not a bad area then either, now it’s kind of…
BW:       Well, no, it was still bad. No it wasn’t, it was a good area compared but the business was bad. And the store was empty since 1929, so there was, that was already 1932, [going] early to ’32. And it belonged to a Dr. [Guy]. So I phoned him up and I want to come and see him. And I come in to see him and he says, “Well, you know that it used to be, that store was renting for $400 a month.” I said, “Yes, but it’s empty for the last three years or four years.” He said, “No, it’s only three, [three years or something].” So I sat for a few more minutes and talked to him and said, “I can pay you $65 a month. That’s what you’re gonna get and as soon as I am established I’ll raise to 75 and maybe 85 and 100 and so on.” I don’t know, I must have talked him into or maybe he just wanted to get rid of it or maybe I made some impression because I was still quite young. I was 17. So he says, “Okay, here’s the keys.” I rented for 65 bucks a month.
ID:          And you opened up a second hand store?
BW:       Yes.

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