Friday, October 21, 2011

Spotlight on an Abilene Resident: Vic Viola

Views of the Past is currently featuring brief biographies of former Abilene residents. These photographs and biographies were recently featured in an exhibit at the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum. Even if you are not from Abilene or do not know these people, these stories are invaluable since they paint a portrait of small town life. Both the photograph and text of this post are courtesy of the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum. The following was written by Bill Jeffcoat about Vic Viola and his father, R.H. Viola:
Vic Viola

R.H. Viola conceived many businesses and one of these was a hardware store. This was during the 1930s and many in town felt it would not go, as two well established hardware stores were going, Shockey and Landis, and Minick and Taylor.

Viola ran a contest to name the store, offering $100 for the winner. The name selected: RHV Hardware, standing for Real, Honest, Vision.

His son Vic was put in charge and he had a knack for it. As you can see by this photo, he was a man whose expression is showing that he was good with customers. True to Viola tradition, he would cut a price and make the customer happy, creating a repeat customer. If one was not satisfied with a clerk, you could go directly to Vic to make a deal. The store did a wonderful volume of business. As were all the Viola sons, they were great contributors to the town’s civic things.

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