Longtime Tulsa Business Closing Doors

Friday, December 12th 2008, 9:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa business, half a century old, is one of the latest casualties of our economy in crisis.          

Farley's Cleaners in North Tulsa is closing its doors, after 56 years.

The slow economy hit the business hard, now three generations are saying good-bye to the family business.

It seems like Latonyia Farley Walker has been wading through the shirts and the steam, since she could walk.      

"I was going to the cleaners from five on up, but I really started working at 12," said Latonyia Walker.

Her father, London Farley, started in the cleaning business back in the '50s with a store in the historic Greenwood District. She worked side by side with her father for years.

"It was a blessing for me to be able to work with my father every day. Even though he was a very firm man. It was good for me. He taught me a lot," said Latonyia Walker.

Lessons living on in a third generation.

"After school come and go to work. Go to school go in the evening. Every day Saturday until I had to get a job," said Corella Walker.

She had to get a job because the family business has come on hard times. Overhead was high, the bills started adding up, and the customers started dropping off.           

"And as the economy began to decrease as far as money circulating in the proper manner, we felt it," said Latonyia Walker.

After the business's third move, a bad economy got the best of them. And after 56 years, this community institution is closing its doors.

"I never thought I'd see this day. I thought it was gonna be here forever," said Corella Walker.

So did a lot of loyal customers, Mr. Farley says they've given him an ear full.

The family is selling clothes that were abandoned and packing up what's left. They fought the good fight, but say they had no choice but to say good bye.

"But I've loved every minute of it. I've loved every minute of it. It's kinda difficult to accept. But under the circumstances, it is what it is," said Latonyia Walker.