For the third time in a year, a car crashes into Graham's
Paul Graham really isn't living the movie Groundhog Day. It just seems like it.
For the third time in 12 months a car was driven through the front of Graham's Stationery on Second Street in Lake Oswego - the latest time happening on Friday afternoon.
Glass flew, customers and employees ducked, and once again Graham had to replace an expensive and huge window.
By Monday, Graham's nerves had recovered, but he was still searching for answers to why this keeps happening to his business.
'I talked to an insurance adjuster from State Farm,' said Graham, a successful business owner for more than three decades. 'There are quite a few cases of confusion regarding gas and the brake or the reverse gear and accelerate.'
In Friday's accident an 85-year-old woman, and a long-time Graham's customer, jumped the curb in her car and drove straight through an 8 feet by 9 feet glass window.
Quickly a crowd of sympathizers gathered. One of them, Chuck O'Leary, even bought a sympathy card from the store for his long-time friend Graham as he stood stunned in the midst of the broken glass.
Graham added, 'Lots of customers were oblivious. They just bought their stuff and left.'
Will the groundhog finally be put to rest and will Paul Graham stop feeling like Bill Murray? Hopefully, soon.
Phase II of the Graham's Stationery remodeling plan (necessitated by the first crash last year) consists of remaking the parking lot in front of the store. The area between the sidewalk and the store will be filled in.
But the big move will be installing ballards, short, strong posts similar to the ones on First Street. The ballards will be tough enough to absorb the impact of a crashing vehicle.
'The ballards were already scheduled,' Graham said. 'For October.'
This last statement was accompanied by bitter laughter.
Still, Graham is hanging in there, showing the same tenacity he has had in surviving roller coaster economies for 31 years. However, these crashes are getting expensive.
'The crash in July cost $4,000,' he said. 'This adds to that.'