Phil and Cathy Meeker
Phil and Cathy Meeker have been associated with River City from the beginning, and truly feel like part of the family. Phil and Cathy met on a blind date 47 years ago and have been married for 46 years. They are proud parents and doting grandparents. Phil is a fun and gregarious gentleman and Cathy, his perfect partner in crime. Phil always has something friendly to say as he walks through the door and Cathy brightens up when talking about their beloved poodles. Since their resale business, Hartley New is located in Parker Square, they check on their spaces at River City daily. Phil and Cathy specialize in seasonal decor and Pyrex. For those of you needing these items, you no doubt, will want to check out their booths. Even though we feel like we know them well, we learned a few new things about Phil and Cathy during this interview that make them even more dear. Please allow us to introduce you to two of your favorites, Phil and Cathy Meeker:
RC: Where are you both from?
CM: Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma
PM: Odessa, Texas. We moved to Tulsa the day Kennedy was buried.
RC: How long have you been in the re-sale business?
PM: I have been in the re-sale business for 33 years. Hartly New, our resale shop, started at the same time as River City Trading Post. Before Steve and his Grandfather added the extended part of Hartly New, it was a dirt road. We were one of the first vendors at River City. Of course, it has grown since then. Prior to Hartly New, I managed a BMW Dealership before I started re-sale full-time. The re-sale business has been a great hobby for 33 years.
RC: Do you have any memorable sale stories?
PM: It's a different type of thing. We decided we might decorate our bedroom. We were looking for French Provincial . We found some at a sale, kept the idea with us for awhile. We decided to buy it and a Vendor from RCTP had already purchased it. We always have those, wish we would have bought it, the one that got away, moments. We actually, ended up buying it from the vendor at RCTP.
RC: If you were invited to be the main guest on a new run of the famous show “This is your life,” what three people from your past would you love to see making a surprise visit?
PM: That's difficult because I am so old. (laughing) I would think it would be family. I would love to see my son who lives in New York . He is a Wine Broker and travels the world, but he doesn't send Mumsie and Dadsie any samples. We did get an 800.00 bottle of wine when our Grandson was born. “It tastes the same”, whispers Phil.
CM: I worked at Renberg's for Ten years. Maybe my old Boss, Dwight or Cora, and John Patterson.
RC: What is the greatest treasure that you have found at a sale, that you have kept for yourself?
PM: Our bedroom furniture. (Laughing) We collect Italian Porcelain, Capodimonte. When we find that, we shouldn't, but we keep it, because we know our daughter would sell it for a quarter.
RC: Favorite Childhood memory?
CM: Going to the World's Fair in 1964. I played Clarinet and was accepted into band of the Young Tulsan's. I also went to the World Music Competition in Holland and toured 7 different countries. Europeans have an appreciation for music. Also, I was in Europe for six weeks studying German.
PM: Moving to Tulsa in a Volkswagen bug, with two boxer dogs in the back seat with me.
RC: If you could walk into a painting and experience the moment, which one would you choose?
PM: We bought a painting on our last cruise, “All Dogs Go To Heaven”. It spoke to us because we have lost.
CM: “Two Chairs along the Beach” We love to cruise.
RC: If you could bring back any tradition that seems to have faded into the past, what tradition would you bring back?
PM: I think we are losing Thanksgiving with retailers being open. I think it is a very, very unfair thing to do to families. There is nothing I need to get up for in the middle of the night for. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. These were the traditions when we were younger.
RC: Phil you have a very nice voice. A “radio voice”. If you had your own pod-cast, which I have always thought you should, what topics would you like to talk about?
PM: Going back to the same thing, Grand-parenting. Some people grew up with Grandparents and their wonderful traditions. Grandparents have a lot of influence.
RC: What is your favorite thing about River City?
PM: It is the relationships with the dealers and the employees. It is a people business. There is a lot of traffic and we all pray for each other.
RC: Any advice for new vendors?
PM: When you live in Jenks and go to Trader Joe's, you need to pack a lunch. (laughing)
PM: Price things to sell. Which a lot of the time, is not what you think it's worth. The main thing is, to work your booth. We have the same people in here, week after week. Move things around. Work your space like a business if you want to be successful. We started pulling out of our house, decluttering. That is a great way to get started. Just because you paid $75.00 originally for an arrangement doesn't mean it is that today.
Find your niche that you are passionate about and buy what you like.