Everyday Things owners Susan and Fred Peterson. (KEIZERTIMES/Lacy Ramirez)

For the Keizertimes

Upon entering the recently opened resale store, Everyday Things & More, one is greeted with hundreds of items and trinkets – some familiar and others only seen before by few.

Items such as: the ivory figurine straight from the heart of the Congo; the nostalgia-filled pages of an aged yearbook; and an intricately hand-carved wooden, wall-mounted telephone.

When Fred and Susan Peterson both became unemployed, they decided to view the  situation as an opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream: start a business. They opened the store in July.

Before they had even decided to open a resale store, Fred started collecting items and stored them in storage lockers, sheds, and even his own house.

“Trust me, we didn’t have enough room,” Susan said.

In the store, one can find everything from signed Disney collectibles to antique clocks to bathroom sinks.

A phone and handset made out of wood. (KEIZERTIMES/Lacy Ramirez)

“The items we have are not just ones you can go online and order,” Susan said. “We’ve got a little bit of everything.”

Everything includes items that, to many customers, bring up past, heartfelt memories, Susan said.

“We get a lot of Keizer and Salem history,” Fred added, recollecting the amount of old yearbooks and photos they have received.

Those memories also transpire to Fred and Susan who remember the events that brought them together as a couple, as well as business partners, fondly and with ear-to-ear grins on their faces.

Fred, originally from Rhode Island, convinced himself when he was 21 that “there’s gotta be something else out there,” and decided to take a spontaneous, extensive trip around the country.

In Boise, Idaho, Fred met Susan and everything changed.

“If I hadn’t met her, I would’ve kept going,” he said.

But instead, they traveled together and ended up settling in the Salem/Keizer area, where they have been for almost 22 years.

“It’s only 40 miles from the coast and 50 miles from a big city,” Fred said. “It’s perfect. Well, almost. It would be perfect if it rained a month and a half less.”

Before moving to Boise, Susan was a model and actress in California. She even had a small role in the musical drama New York, New York under the direction of Martin Scorsese, in which she acted alongside Robert DeNiro and Liza Minnelli. Susan became friends with DeNiro during that time and described him as “the perfect gentleman.” Susan decided not to pursue acting and moved to Boise where she met Fred.

Now firmly settled in the heart of Oregon, Fred and Susan are both content with the life and business they have established.

“Besides monetary benefits,” Fred said, “the personal relationships that we’ve made [with customers] have been very satisfying. Very special. It’s all been worthwhile.”