Where did their clothes go?

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‘Pure panic’

“Panic. Pure panic,” recalled Salisbury resident Barry Block, who was planning to attend his niece’s wedding the day the clothes were shipped back to the cleaners. They included Block’s suit, dress shirt, pants and a dress his wife, Liz, had borrowed for the occasion. The couple were also planning to attend a graduation party the following day.

Block said that he has reclaimed the majority of his clothes, but he and his wife were forced to buy new clothes for the wedding. “Now I have two pairs of the same pants,” he joked, though he praised the work of county officials, Coschignano and Jim Dandy Cleaners, adding, “What this group of people did was phenomenal to me.”

Karyl Taylor, a senior at W.T. Clarke High School, had brought her prom dress to Lewis Cleaners just days before the eviction. After a few frantic phone calls, she and her mother, Deborah — a Clarke graduate — returned to the shop as the trucks were returning the clothes. “Just seeing the amount of boxes that were going into the store,” said Deborah, “I thought, how are we ever going to find this?”

After explaining her situation to Coschignano, the mother and daughter returned to the store the following morning, and Karyl’s prom dress was waiting for her. “They had it right there, apart from all the other clothes,” Deborah said. “She was in tears when he gave it back to her.”

She added that she has used Lewis Cleaners for years, and never had a problem with Lee. “He’s always been wonderful to me and my family,” she said.

Salisbury resident Joanne Menzin, who was at the dry-cleaner during the second pickup on June 14, also spoke highly of Lee. “The real story is that we lost another business owner in the community,” Menzin said. “He was very hardworking.”

Jessica Rosen contributed to this story.

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