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Beginnings

They met in the early 1950s. It could even be said—affirmatively and without affectation—that they met cute.  Not in any sort of cinematic way—that mode of drama was best left to star-kissed idols of the silver screen, like Bogie and Bacall. Although stylish and beautiful, Leona and Clyde were first name sort of people. He, a shy farm boy and young WWII vet; she, a confident secretary from the city. Clyde moved in with his older sister, who lived up the street from Leona. Smitten, from afar, eventually she tried to catch her new neighbor’s attention. Much to our family’s everlasting appreciation–wielding the moxie and determination that became her familial trademark– she soon did.

Leona and Clyde

Marrying in 1952, their happy, loving union lasted more than six decades and produced three daughters, one son, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Austen & Company is owned by their firstborn, Kay, and is run with help from her two children and son-in-law. No matter what day or time you stop in, you will be waited on by an Austen family member. We are a true small business—one made possible by the dedication of a once-young couple who followed their dreams to the altar and whose love made our dreams possible.

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“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”—Robert Heinlein, “Stranger in a Strange Land”