Not paying attention to big-box competitors seems to have worked out well for 85-year-old Walt Wenzl, who recently celebrated his 70th year working for Wenzl Hardware Store in Nebraska City. He has owned and operated the independent hardware store since 1954, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
More than 200 people gathered to celebrate the landmark anniversary at Wenzl Hardware. Wenzl has built up a loyal following over the years thanks to strong community ties and a knack for idiosyncracy.
Built 149 years ago, the two-story building is a relic in itself, still featuring a vintage hand-operated elevator and a collection of antiques lining the top shelves. The mini museum includes a 1903 Flexible Flyer sled, butter churn, pleat-making device and Wenzl's old baseball mit and smoking implements.
As of yet, Wenzl has no plans to retire. "I've been here 70 years, and I've enjoyed it," he told the news source. "It keeps me out of the beer joints."