The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

27 November 2004

Saturday spottings (ice and more ice)

With the ongoing success of the New Year's Eve bash known as Opening Night, going downtown during the holidays is no longer considered weird, and each year a few more stops are pulled out to lure folks into the middle of things.

One of the newer, and neater, of the attractions is Braum's Ice Rink, 9300 square feet of ice-skating space in front of the Music Hall. This is the third year for the rink, and it always draws a good crowd; in fact, the city's cable channel trains a camera on the rink to fill the space between programs, and being the clumsy oaf that I am, I marvel at the sheer beauty of it all. People who hate disco should probably avoid it on Friday nights, but otherwise it's a genuine winter wonderland. A semi-complete list of things going on downtown this year can be seen at DowntownInDecember.com.

Meanwhile, out in the jewelry jungle, something of a shakeout is going on. The Berkey Brothers store on the Northwest Distressway reports in its recent advertising that a competitor bought the building and is not renewing the lease, presumably putting Berkey out of business.

In this little part of the jewelry universe, though, you have Gordons, and you have Non-Gordons. The Gordon's Jewelers chain, which goes back to 1905, is these days a corporate sister to Zales. Outside the chain, there is the Samuel Gordon operation, apparently not related to those Texas-based Gordons, which started in 1904; there is also Alan Gordon, a smaller firm that traces its history back to 1878.

The new guy on the Gordon block is Arthur Gordon, who set up his shop in the late 1970s. I remember it being simply Arthur's Fine Jewelry, suggesting that he didn't want to trade on the surname or be confused with those other Gordons, though eventually Art decided to hang his full name out on the shingle. It apparently didn't help, as he's now got going-out-of-business signs hanging up at his store at NW 70th and May — half a mile north of Alan's place.

Still, the jewelry market in Oklahoma City isn't exactly owned by people named Gordon, as anyone who recalls the B. C. Clark jingle will readily testify.

Posted at 4:07 PM to City Scene