We live in a disposable world, where our broken and obsolete implements of modern convenience fill landfills and clog recycling centers. The solid appliances and electronics built by companies that once outfitted the troops during World War II are long gone.
Still, there were a few places where those too cheap or too stubborn to give in to planned obsolescence could find what they needed to keep their households humming without buying new. Time is taking away the places where Ms. Fix-it can find what she needs. Cousin Carl’s is gone. The Green Store is gone.
Only Don’s Hardware remains in Swansea, and now the man who was behind the counter since 1969 is gone.
Don Bujnak was a reassuring face in the store. Even as his competent staff took over, he watched to make sure you got exactly the right part and didn’t go home with half the store, just in case.
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A valve for a 1923 American Standard toilet? He had it. The capacitors for a 1995 Hunter ceiling fan? Had that, too. Wall-mounted faucet for cast iron, 1938 sink? Had it, with a selection both stylish and sturdy.
Don’s Hardware continues, but gone is the 85-year-old namesake who gave you the confidence to fix it yourself rather than call a pro or send it to the trash. Bujnak died Friday.
Our spouses were never forced to “sleep with a drip,” except when we failed to get to Don’s before closing.
Thanks, Don Bujnak. You will be missed.