Mable Swinney Looks Toward Retirement

Thursday, February 28th 2008, 7:25 pm
By: News On 6

So many workers are looking for the fast track to retirement.  But, Mable Swinney still shows up on the job every day at Swinney's Hardware at the age of 92.  News On 6's Rick Wells reports no one's sure how much longer Mable will be showing up, though.  It's not because of her age, but because the store is closing.

Swinney's Hardware has been in Tulsa's Whittier Square a long time.  The sign says 1934.  That would make it almost 75 years and Mable Swinney has been here almost every day for most of that time.

"I've been here every day since the kids were in school every day," said Mable Swinney.

She used to work the floor helping customers find what they were looking for, but not anymore.

"Can't do it anymore.  You know when you're 92 you slow down a little bit," said Mable Swinney.

A little maybe, but not much.  Every day she comes in and checks the receipts from the day before.

"I total all these sales slips by hand rather than use the calculator.  That keeps my brain working.  You know if you don't use it, you lose it," said Mable Swinney.

She's got a family and friends wall to keep her company.  Pictures of kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces, nephews, sisters, and brothers are all up there.

Over the years, many customers have come to know Mable Swinney by her first name.  The problem is there just aren't that many customers of any kind coming in anymore.  People come now mostly for keys and odds and ends.  It's not enough for the business to be successful like it was, so they've decided to close or sell the business.

There's no firm closing date for Swinney's, but they have stopped re-ordering inventory.