Antiquarian Frank Hicks officially retires from the business he loves
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
It’s the end of an era for Frank Hicks shown here on the last official day of business in Hudson before vacating the old coach house set to be demolished soon.
As that old idiom goes, all good things must come to an end. And this was certainly the case this past Sunday, May 29 when long-time antiquarian and Hudson fixture on the antiques’ scene, Frank Hicks, called it a day and retired, closing Ye Auld Curiosité Boutique, the business that he started back in 1982. Inspired, in his own words, by an inebriated luncheon and a politically incorrect joke.
Not that his retirement from the business that he loves was self-planned, Irish-born Hicks was quick to point out in an exclusive interview with Your Local Journal. “I started working at 16 years old, got married at 20, raised two children, went to university at night, and have been in Hudson since 2004. So I guess retirement is not now, nor will it ever be, part of my vocabulary or of my own making. And if this wonderful old historic building on Main Road wasn’t being torn down to make way for condominiums, I would continue my business here indefinitely.”
How did he feel on Sunday? “It was a joyous, wistful, enlightening, and intoxicating day in more ways than one.” said Hicks. “Surrounded by old and new friends enjoying a drink, small treats, and an amazing going-away cake. Like Marie Antoinette, I also said, 'Let them eat cake.' Only this time, I supplied the cake.”
Added Hicks, “It has been a pleasure to work in this town and be part of its shopping network. We are all small businessmen and women in Hudson and need the support of the local population. When you purchase an item in a small-town store you put food on the merchant's table, clothes on their family's back, and help their children get a good education. When you buy goods in a large box store, you help a CEO buy a bigger yacht.”
An active downtown core is the heart of any small town, stressed Hicks. “It is where we meet and greet our neighbours, catch up on local news -10 per cent of which might actually be accurate - and keep relationships alive and active. When the downtown core of a town dies, the town itself often dies along with it and you are left with a collection of family homes living in selective isolation.”
As for his future plans - following an outside independent auction of all remaining 'treasures' in the barn in the near future - Hicks is planning on publishing a new book of poetry, finishing a play he is writing, helping his wife, Marilyn, out at Finnegan's Market on Saturdays, playing a few games of golf, and taking his first vacation in over 20 years.
Said Hicks, “It promises to be quite an adventure. But to all the people who have been our clients over the years, I would just like to say thank you. We have appreciated your business, your company, and the many happy times you and we have shared together.”