Louisville Magazine

APR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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gocards.com LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.19 27 she was shadowing him as a new Rodes employee. ey've been together ever since — at work, at home. "He was the pro," she says, remembering that day in 1983. "Still is." With playful brown curls and a wide smile, Cheri nearly floats when she moves, all cheer and openness. In other words: she's bubbly. "He's…not," Cheri says with a laugh. But, she adds, he's routinely Rodes' top seller. At one point, Hines scrolls through his phone to show me his customer base, and with four or five ag- gressive swipes of his thumb we barely get to the letter "D." e couple often work with the same customers, choreographing an effective, subtle dance — Hines with the suit, Cheri with the shirts and accesso- ries. "ere's an art in sharing the stage," Cheri says. "If I step in, he steps out. Not a lot of people can do that." Hines started at Rodes in 1966, work- ing in receiving. at only lasted a few months because owner Jack Rodes picked up on Hines' interest in style and hired him as Rodes' first African-American sales associate, in the original location downtown on Walnut Street (now Mu- hammad Ali Boulevard). (e store has moved a couple times and is now located on Brownsboro Road.) In an era when racial tensions were high, Hines says he didn't experience too much trouble with customers. "It's just that idea of having a smile on your face and start talking to them," he says. Hines has worked with one customer for 45 years and has helped dress three generations in a few different families. "ere's not a whole lot else I would do if I retired," he says. "My health is good. I feel good." Cheri says that when her husband does decide to leave Rodes, it will likely unfold as a gentle fade-out. "e smart thing to do would be to (retire) gradually," she says. "Because of his customer base, in our industry, your presence is worth a lot, just your presence on the floor. Even if he wasn't selling to each customer, him being here is part of the deal."

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