Mayor honors downtown Columbia's Cool Stuff store

Sunday, August 28, 2011 | 2:19 p.m. CDT; updated 5:48 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 29, 2011
Arnie Fagan, Cool Stuff owner, displays various awards and recognitions in his store front in this file photo from August 28, 2011. Fagan said that it is nice to receive recognition on their job well done for the last 23 years.

COLUMBIA — At Cool Stuff you can find an Indonesian bicycle rickshaw, Indian silver temples, an African wood-and-leather drum – you name it, Cool Stuff has it.

Cool Stuff, at 808 E. Broadway, has a 23-year history in downtown Columbia and has grown to offer novelty items from more than 50 countries.

Owner Arnie Fagan received a proclamation Wednesday from Mayor Bob McDavid.

McDavid said the proclamation came in response to a request from Fagan. "It's been an icon for downtown Columbia over the years," McDavid said.

The proclamation, posted in Cool Stuff's window, reads:

"Whereas, Cool Stuff has fostered an appreciation for various cultures, lands, artwork, music and handicrafts ..."

"Whereas, Arnie Fagan has participated in downtown Columbia leadership for 23 years ..."

"Now, therefore, I, Mayor Robert McDavid, Mayor of the City of Columbia, Missouri, do hereby proclaim August 28, 2011 as Cool Stuff Day."

Fagan said he was honored. "It’s like a pat on the back.”

Since opening business in 1988, Fagan said he has witnessed “positive change” in the business environment in downtown Columbia. Fagan wanted his store to contribute.

“My idea was to provide a place for people to flock to,” he said.

Jill Wade, a customer at Cool Stuff on Friday, remembered coming to Cool Stuff about 20 years ago at its previous location and making a beaded necklace. Now she comes every couple of months with her husband and children.

“We’ve got eraser puzzles for our kids. They love it here,” she said as she watched her son try on a cowboy hat. “We just play with it.”

Tim and Janelle Kephart were also customers Friday.

“It is a cool little niche store,” Tim Kephart said, “and it is a good part of the town to drop by.”

“There are hundreds of small businesses in Columbia,” Fagan said, adding that he hopes the mayor will honor others that have made a significant contribution downtown.   

McDavid said he will consider honoring other businesses on a "case-by-case" basis.

“Cool Stuff Day is not about one day,” Fagan said. “It is about history. The celebration is to honor the great people who have worked or went through Cool Stuff over the years.”

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alan hamilton August 28, 2011 | 5:07 p.m.

so if i want a proclaimation all i must do is ask for it?

where do i sign up?


(Report Comment)
bob wessler August 28, 2011 | 5:19 p.m.

Whereas, I have been a resident of Columbia for 23 years ...
Whereas, I have been to 'Cool Stuff'...
Whereas, August 28th is my birthday ...
I request an official proclamation from the City of Columbia as acknowledgement of this day being my birthday.
I'll be waiting ... (a long time ...)

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle August 28, 2011 | 6:51 p.m.

Wednesday, August 31st is hereby proclaimed "Columbia's Hack Man Day" as I celebrate both my 48th birthday, and over 30 years of playing footbag.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire August 28, 2011 | 9:58 p.m.

Send him to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)

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