The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 19, 1986 · Page 30
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 30

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 19, 1986
Page 30
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Business The Salina Journal Sunday, January 19,19& Page 30 Business keeps couple happy By PHILOMENA LAWRENCE Special to The Journal Harry and Agnes Humes, both 93, credit their family business with keeping them in good repair. They own and operate Humes Sales and Service out of their Sauna home. The 34-year-old company sells Hoover vacuum cleaners and repairs all brands of sweepers. Its services also include the rewiring of lamps and the sharpening of scissors, knives and pinking shears. The Humes are not even considering retirement. "I'm not yet ready to retire and don't want to. I've had a lot of friends who, after six months of quitting their jobs, they'd be gone," said Humes. His wife and bookkeeper had other reasons. "Our kids are awful good to us. They're not going to put us on a poor farm. But if we're not working, we're not happy. Working keeps us both healthy." It also keeps them working closely with their son, Harley, who helps with the business. "He's the boss here when his Dad isn't around," his mother explained. The company sells Hoover machines wholesale to the northwest section of Kansas and is the only Hoover warranty dealer in this part of the state. As a result, their customers come from as far away as Russell and Hays. "We believe that if you can't do a job right, you shouldn't do it at all. If I rebuild a sweeper, I guarantee it to be as good as a new one," Humes said. He recalled the time he fixed and cleaned a machine so well, the customer refused to believe it belonged to her and wouldn't claim it. "I had to go over and argue with her," he said. The Humes are particularly proud of the certificate of appreciation they received last year. The framed document reads: "For outstanding and dedicated service, the Hoover Company salutes your 34 years of business." That acclaim has been the culmination of many years of team effort. The Humes have worked together ever since they were married 68 years ago. "Mama chased me for four years before she caught me," said Humes as he reached for her hand. She calls him "Dad." First, they ran Humes Cafe in Glen Elder, from 1920 to 1924. Later, Humes joined the Salina police force on an $80 a month wage. "We couldn't raise five children and buy a home on that amount. I had to do something for extra income," he said. That "something" turned out to be repairing gadgets — anything that needed fixing. The absence of any training did not deter him. "I never had anybody show me how to fix anything. I learned it all through experience," Humes said. On retiring from the police department in 1951, Humes used his expertise to sell and repair vacuum cleaners at Stiefel's in downtown Salina. Two years later, he moved the Hoover franchise to its present location on College Street. They claim they do not sell the cheaper models or those without a light unless specifically requested to do so. "The light helps people see things like pennies on the floor. If those get into the machine, it requires repair work," Agnes Humes said. Until a few years ago, Humes also serviced sewing machines. But he gave that up when an injury to his hip made it difficult to work with the heavy machines. Over the years, the Humes have noticed changes in the machines they've worked with. "The vacuum cleaners today are twice as good or better than they used to be," said Agnes Humes. "They are bigger and clean up to the edge and even in corners. Many of them are powered to move forward and backwards. That makes cleaning so much easier." Even the tools the Humes use have improved. According to them, newer equipment has enabled them to repair sweepers in half the time and with better results. In the old days, for example, machine parts were washed in a solvent then wiped with a cloth. Today, the Humes use a six-foot-tall air compressor with a high-powered hose to dry the pieces Harry and Agnes Humes and their son Harley operate Humes Sales and Service. TomDorMy or blow out dirt and dust. Lathes make boring holes in wood and metal easier, polishers restore aluminum parts to their original shine, and grinders hone tools to a sharp edge. Pressure guns are a must for greasing ball bearings. The pair feel lucky to have their work so close to their home. "It took a heap of living to make this house a home. It is warm and comfortable, not fancy. But we didn't get it all at once. We bought and paid for things one piece at a time," Agnes Humes said. Asked if they have any advice for young people, Humes said, "Pay as you go. Don't get excited about everything that the man next door owns. It's all on credit. We lived on beans and still like them. Most important, be true to each other." His wife agreed. "Like 'most everything in life, the longer you work at it, the better it gets. You understand each other. I don't think I'll get a divorce now." Television firm to commence broadcasting A new television service soon will be available to the Salina area and surrounding communities. American Technology and Information Inc. (AT&I) will begin marketing its microwave television services this week. Construction of the antenna tower is about to begin, and reception of the initial channels should be received in about a month, the company said. The new station will begin with the. transmission of four to eight channels. The basic service will consist of sports, news, general variety and a premium movie channel. Additional airwave bands ultimately can grow to 16 channels. AT&I corporate offices are in Denver, and a Salina office has been opened at 114 E. Iron. The company said that additional towers are scheduled to be built in other areas of Kansas. The Salina office will coordinate the marketing and technical staff for the state. Herb Petracek has been named general manager for Kansas. AT&Ts system does not use the cables and wires needed by traditional cable television operators. Television programming offered by AT&I travels through the airwaves somewhat similar to wireless radio, the company said. With the microwave system, signals are received from satellites or distant broadcast stations and transmitted over the airways. Subscribers receive the signals from the tower by special antennas and down-convertors provided by the company. Standard UHF and VHP antennas cannot receive the signals. The new multichannel television service will be available to customers within 40 miles of Salina. A slightly different technology is used for those living beyond the range of the tower. There is an installation fee for the microwave system and monthly fees that approximate those of cable TV. AT&I has the exclusive rights to market and manage multichannel microwave systems in 83 areas across the United States approved by the Federal Communications Commission. The firm is a public company and is listed on the American and Canadian stock exchanges. Increasing reliance on computers raises stakes in 'crashes' NEW YORK (AP) — A hundred feet beneath the streets of Manhattan's financial district, a 2%-acre chamber dug from bedrock is being turned into a modern treasure vault. The man-made cavern under the World Trade Center, part of an old railroad, has a guard station with machine gun-proof glass, Halon gas for extinguishing fires and 14 closed-circuit TV cameras for surveillance. DataPort would be a safe place for diamonds, rubies or gold bullion. Instead it will contain nothing but thousands of reels of magnetic tape — in effect, duplicates of the memories of modern corporations. DataPort and other storehouses across the country cater to their clients' growing nervousness about their dependence on computers vulnerable to fire, flood, sabotage, theft or simple human error. Experts say a total computer wipeout with no backup plan in place — an unlikely event — might permanently cripple a business like a bank or brokerage firm. "A computer failure is probably the single most tragic business event that could happen to a company. You can't move product, you can't collect money, you can't ship, you can't collect premiums. You just can't function," said John Ratiiff, vice president of marketing for Sungard Services Co. of Wayne, Pa. In spite of the danger, no more than 1,000 of the roughly 14,000 data centers in the United States and Canada that use IBM mainframes of the 4300 series or bigger have disaster This space soon will become a computer storage facility. plans that include off-site backup computers, estimates Ray Hipp, president of Comdisco Data Recovery Services Inc. of Rosemont, m. Executives are reluctant to divert large sums of money from pressing needs to guard against a disaster that may never happen, say Comdisco and Sungard, which are No.l and No.2, respectively, in the business of supplying backup computers. But auditors are stepping up the security trend by demanding workable disaster plans before they give companies clean bills of financial health. The Internal Revenue Service has furthered the trend, imposing several rules governing secure storage of long- term records. Companies like New York's DataPort store backup copies of a company's computer records. The client company can retrieve the magnetic tapes on short notice and load them into its computers to replace ones that have been damaged. Unfortunately, a disaster that destroys data often destroys machines as well. Com- disco, Sungard and other companies charge clients a big fee for the right to use spare computers that they keep ready and waiting at "hot sites." For those who cannot afford a hot site there is the "cold site," a room equipped with chilled water, electricity and phone lines that is ready to have a computer installed in it in an emergency. Comdisco charges its biggest clients up to $20,000 a month for access to a big IBM mainframe and a variety of peripheral equipment, Hipp said. Computer makers like International Business Machines Corp. and Digital Equipment Corp. also offer rescue services, such as rush shipment of replacement computers and consulting by their in-house disaster experts. The New York Stock Exchange relies on 13 computers to support minute-to-minute floor trading. Three could fail in a way that would bring trading to a halt, said Don Dueweke, the exchange's senior vice president of market operations. Sometimes a small failure serves to remind companies of how serious a big failure would be. At the New York Stock Exchange, for example, a snafu occasionally will cause trading to halt for 15 minutes or half an hour. All the exchange's computers now are in one secure section of a building just off Wall Street, but Dueweke said it plans to split the machines between two sites to lessen the chance of an incapacitating disaster. Like other big New York computer users, the stock exchange pays a fee to a center in neighboring New Jersey that maintains backup computers it can use on a moment's notice, and it stores backup records in a commercial storehouse in upstate New York. The first data-storage centers, built in the 1950s and '60s out of fear of a Soviet nuclear attack, tended to be in mountain strongholds far from cities. Records were rotated at the leisurely pace of once a month. The newer centers, like DataPort, tend to be more convenient. Records are shipped in and out as often as several times a day, ensuring that a disaster would not punch a hole in a company's data records of more than a few hours. Data storage experts say the next trend will be for companies to send their backup records into storage electronically. Workers at the receiving end would record the transmissions onto magnetic tapes and place the tapes on racks. In this case, though, high technology has its critics. It is hard to verify that records sent electronically are not coming in garbled, so companies run the risk of discovering at the worst possible time that their backup information is unusable, argues William Dreyer, a vice president of Iron Mountain Group Inc., a major data-storage company based in Boston. KU director says economic changes needed TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state economy faces long-term, structural changes if Kansas is to prevent a continuation of problems, the director of a University of Kansas institute told legislators Thursday. Anthony Redwood, director of KU's Institute for Public Policy and Business Research, also said state governmental agencies, private business groups and educational institutions must work together more to solve problems. Redwood presented the institute's recently released Interim Report on the Kansas Economic Development Study to the Ways and Means committees and the Assessment and Taxation committees of the House and Senate. The report makes 34 recommendations for creating and continuing economic growth in the state. It has been endorsed by several state business groups. "It would be foolish to assume that a turnaround in the state economy is around the corner," Redwood said. "Over-all, it is important that we accept that there is a fundamental softness." Redwood said the state needs to have better links between universities and business, needs to try to attract foreign business and needs to emphasize development and creation of business inside the state. The state Department of Economic Development also is underfinanced and undermanned, Redwood said. That agency must lead in efforts to create and continue economic development, but it cannot act alone, he said. "I have never believed that this sort of thing can be done by a state department by itself," Redwood told legislators. The report recommends the formation of a Kansas Science and Technology Authority to oversee some programs, including new ones to provide money in "new and innovative" businesses and ventures involving undeveloped products. He said his contact with businessmen in the state convinced him that Kansas does not do enough to finance the creation and growth of business. The report also recommends that the Legislature create a joint Committee on Economic Development or separate committees in each chamber. "We feel the Legislature is not sufficiently focused on economic de- velopment," Redwood said. "Otherwise, much of this tends to get scattered all over the place.'' The report also recommends the state establish a task force on agriculture that would help the industry diversify itself. Redwood said 75 percent of the state's agricultural production comes in beef and wheat. "We are very vunerable when we're a two-crop state," Redwood said. Redwood also said that Kansas must alter its tax structure, not in vain effort to put itself in front of other states, but in an effort to keep up with them. He cited the report's recommendation that the state exempt manufacturing equipment and business computers from its sales tax. Thirty-nine states, he said, have such an exemption. Los Angeles dealer starts crusade to keep Jeep CJ in production From staff and wire reports The American public was able to save Classic Coke, but can it save the Jeep? A Los Angeles car dealer thinks he may be able to. John Walker has started a "Keep the Jeep" crusade and sent petitions to Jeep dealers nationwide. American Motors Corp. has said it will end production of the Jeep CJ at the end of the month- To replace the CJ models, American Motors is pushing a new model Jeep, the Wrangler YJ. Ralph Bennett, of Bennett Pontiac Jeep & Mazda Inc., 651 S. Ohio, said customers haven't commented much on the loss of the Jeep CJ, but some have said they are sorry to see it go. "But I show them a picture of the Wrangler and they say, "That looks like a pretty cute littlerig.' lr Bennett said he expects to receive his first Wranglers in two months. "We're not upset," said Joyce Bell of Bell Motor Inc., 325 N. Santa Fe. There's not a lot of difference between the CJ and the Wrangler, she said, but the CJ is more of an off-road vehicle than the Wrangler. Bell said she is hoping that the Wrangler will bring Jeep sales back up.

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