Mailboxes at The Pet Store?

When we lived in Milwaukee my wife and I would often get calls from customers wondering if we had a certain hardware related item in stock. We discovered that our home phone number (there were no cell phones back in those dark ages) was similar to that of Hampton Hardware. I jokingly said we should open a store given how many calls we received. Thankfully,  that was just for a short time. The callers who were miss-dialing must have been calling during a full moon. I thought of that when I learned about Mr. Pittman.

A Pet Shop Picture With Memories

The Pet Shop’s Mr. Pittman

I sent my cousin Kathy the picture (above) I received from Aunt Vera and asked her if she knew who the man behind The Pet Shop counter was. I suspected she might, because she was often at the store with her mom and probably knew and remembered many of the names. Her response included details that were more amazing and amusing than I could have hoped. She said the man’s name was Mr. Pittman. What follows should bring a smile and might even remind you of misunderstandings you have experienced in helping others. I edited her text message for clarity, but the key story line is from Kathy.

Kathy’s Memories of Pitt

“Now the name of that man is Mr. Pittman. I asked Mom (my Aunt Vera) what his first name was and just at the moment we can’t recall what his first name was. I was a little bit of a younger person working back then with Mr. Pittman. That’s what I would call him, and the adults just referred to him as Pitt.

We recall that he worked in the Navy for a number of years. I recall that he worked as some type of gunnery man, and because of that, it  caused some hearing loss for him. Now Mr. Pittman was the man I told you the story about at lunch. One day Mr. Pittman answered the phone, and said, “No ma’am we don’t sell mailboxes , you need to call a hardware store.” A couple minutes later, Mr. Pittman answered the phone again, and once again he stated, “No ma’am we don’t sell mailboxes, you’ll have to try a hardware store. There’s one down the street.

A few more minutes went by. This time when Mr. Pittman answered the phone, he said, “Oh! I thought you were saying mailboxes! But you were asking if we sold male boxers! Yes we could get you a male boxer!

A Boxer appears in a Purina Pet Foods poster from The Pet Shop
The center portion of the Purina Pet Foods poster from The Pet Shop

I was right at the counter with Mr. Pittman when all this was going on. And not meaning to be disrespectful whatsoever, those of us that were by him including Mr. Pittman all had a great laugh over that phone call!

I have thought of that phone conversation between Mr. Pittman and that customer many, many, many times over the years, and it has always brought a very big smile to my heart and mind.”

The End of the Story

It would be wonderful to find out Mr. Pittman’s first name. If you knew him or knew his name, please let me know. I’d like to learn more about him. I also served in the U.S. Navy, so to hear of his service had a little extra interest for me.