David Friedman and his wife, Shirley, will soon close their popular downtown Sikeston men's store - Falkoff's - after nearly 44 1/2 years in operation. The couple have been a strong foundation for our downtown retail community since they first opened their doors long ago when Sikeston was a far different community than today.
But the end of the Friedman era in downtown will have an impact on the entire community because of the leadership skills that David has shared with our community for decades.
Every town deserves a David Friedman. Few are as lucky as Sikeston to have such a committed community cheerleader and outspoken advocate for civic improvement.
There are few activities that improved our community through the years that did not have David Friedman's help and involvement. He put his time, his talent, his skills and his leadership into so many civic ventures they become far too numerous to mention.
David has been honored by the city of Sikeston for his involvement with virtually every community award or recognition available. But his involvement and tireless efforts on behalf of Sikeston go far beyond mere plaques on the wall.
David Friedman has always been the epitome of a small-town merchant and civic leader. He has conducted business as a gentleman which accounts for his countless customers who come from far and wide.
But it won't be David's retail skills that stick in my memory. I have had the distinct pleasure to serve with David on countless "campaigns" and to watch firsthand his common sense and his sense of fair play.
It is through his leadership that progress is calculated. His voice of reason has always been important when our community was considering any change, any progress or any improvement.
And when anyone in this community wanted to float an idea for change, it was David Friedman who was first consulted. Everyone knew that if it passed David's "test," it had a solid chance of success.
You don't replace a David Friedman. You simply thank the lucky stars that brought him to Sikeston and you are reminded every day of his value to our community by the actions he has taken through the years.