It has been a long time since I worked at Langrock, and, at 79, my memory isn’t as strong as, say, 10 years ago, but here goes.
I worked at Langrock’s after school in 1956 or ’57 as cleanup person and gofer. I enjoyed the experience, but as a teenager I personally thought Mr. Decker was a tremendous retail leader and a very, very nice man. I worked at the first store, across the alley from the last store. I was smaller. There were three salesmen, Mr. Decker, and Mr. Frank. One of the salesmen was related to Mr. Decke — I have forgotten has name. Rene Carroll was another, and the third was younger.
I have always thought Mr. Decker was the drive behind the success of this store. When someone entered the store, the senior available salesperson had first call if he wished to handle them. Everything was done professionally and very low key. If I was working on a Saturday and it became busy, they would tell me to take care of tie and shirt sales. There was a tailor, and two or three seamstresses, all of whom were Italian-American and lived in Bristol, PA.
This store was run very old-tyle. At the end of the day everyone would be near the front door, and when everyone was free, all would leave together and go through the door by seniority. There were never any exceptions. Every teenage boy wanted to work at least six months, because from then on through your schooling you only paid cost plus tailoring.
Also, when you left they had a closet where your name and when you worked there were etched in the wood. I and a lot of others thought moving across the alley was not a good idea. Princeton in those days was a very interesting place to grow up. Always well dressed and polite.
I now live in Steamboat Springs, CO, and have worn a tie twice in 15 years. — THOMAS SHELTON
For the hardcore historian, here’s a case of a 1937 lawsuit involving Langrock.
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