I’m an early REI customer

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To the Editor:

There is a feeling of deja vu for me in welcoming REI to Keizer.

Wikipedia says that REI has some 11.6 million members today. Consider that I hold membership number 1720.

When I joined REI in 1946, it occupied a closet in the office of accountant Lloyd Anderson in downtown Seattle.  The main offering was little bags of dried foods stored in galvanized garbage cans.  As an avid hiker, backpacker, skier and sometimes climber, I found REI to be the only place available to provide supplies for such activities.

At that time, there was only one location and no paid employees (Anderson volunteered the space and his efforts).  Today, REI is reported to have some 132 stores and 11,000 employees.

It has come a long way.

Art Burr
Keizer

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