Friday, January 19, 2007

Sam Silverman dies

Sam Silverman, one of the more prominent figures in the history of Grand Forks and a leader in the local business community, has died today at the age of 91. Read the Herald's story.

I never met Sam, but I've always heard what a good businessman he was. His name has become synonymous with business in Grand Forks. Even though his store is now closed, Silverman's legacy in the community is lasting. His contributions to Grand Forks will not be soon forgotten.

A part of the history of this community passed away today.


Charlie said...

I'm sitting here, thinking I wish my own kids---similar to you, GFG---could have known Mr. Silverman. He was an incredible man all the way around. Walk into his store, he'd have two or three suit or sports coat selections ready for you---correct size and all! Amazing. And humor...and a way of making his customers think they were most special.
Even through the years, coming across Mr. Silverman at the public library or some other public place, his eye would meet yours, and he'd share some personal thoughts that made one wonder how he could remember everyone.

Yes, I wish the current generation could have known Sam Silverman. He was a rare and wonderful individual!

GrandForksGuy said...

While I never met Sam, my father remembers him and how he used to treat his customers, including my father's father (my grandfather). My grandfather was a farmer from around the Hillsboro, ND area. He wasn't well to do by any means, but he made sure to shop at Sam's store when he needed nice clothes. This would have been back in the 40s and 50s. Even though Sam was a wealthy businessman from the city and my grandfather was a poor farmer from the country, Sam treated him like an equal and like a friend. I can't imagine my grandfather would have shopped there more than a few times each year, but apparently Sam welcomed him by name each time he came to the store and rememberd who he was, where he was from, about his family, and always was able to relate to him. Sam told him that he didn't need to worry if he wasn't able to pay for something right at that moment...he could pay when he had the money. He trusted my grandfather's word. I never met my paternal grandfather nor did I meet Sam. It's sad to see their generation disappearing. Sam was a kind man and a true friend of the city and of the region.