Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It All Started with a Husband's Simple Question ...

What kind of stove do you want?
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This story takes place up the road a piece from the Piney Woods, on the edge of the Delta, in Greenwood, MS.

The germ of this posting sprouted when I read a few days ago a news article on the younger Madoff brother, Peter.  In the run up to Peter Madoff's scheduled imprisonment for his role in the nation's largest Ponzi Scheme -- his Upper East Side Manhattan two-bedroom condo was sold to a Chicago lawyer for the bargain price of $4.6 million.

Peter and his wife Marion had expected to be able to remove various valuable possessions from their Manhattan pied a terre, but the federal marshals would not allow them more than the clothes they kept there, and a mattress and box spring.

In reporting the Madoff's latest upsetting news, the Daily Mail ran a series of photographs of the interior of their tony apartment.  One photo was of the all-stainless-steel kitchen, which sported a Viking stove and a Subzero refrigerator. (If you're curious to see this photo, please click on the embedded link in turquoise above.)

The mention of a"Viking stove" started the wheels turning in my brain.  Aren't Viking appliances manufactured in Greenwood, MS?

I started my Google search and this is what I found -- the story of Viking founder Fred Carl Jr.  If you don't wish to read it all by clicking on the above link, below is the operative paragraph(s):
"In the early 1980s, Fred was building a new home for himself and his family. He asked his wife, Margaret, what kind of stove she wanted in her new kitchen and discovered that she longed for something similar to the shiny white and chrome porcelain Chambers range she had learned to cook on when she was a child.
The stove was a heavy-duty classic, but it was no longer in production. Fred fancied a true restaurant range and offered that as a possible alternative but knew a restaurant range wasn’t really suited for use in a home because of the intense heat it put off, being hot to the touch when in use, the extra weight and the fact that its oven had no broiling capability.
After an extensive search, he discovered that there was no commercial-style range being produced for the home. 'I found it unbelievable that there was nothing like this and that no one recognized the need,' he said. 'No one saw the niche.'
So he sat down at his familiar drawing board and, after countless late nights, arrived at a design for a high-end home range with the look, styling, cooking power and features of a professional range but with the needed features of a high-end residential gas range, something that didn’t exist at the time.
As the drawings progressed and he became convinced that he was on to something, Fred held a brainstorming session with a small, local ad agency owned by a good friend to come up with a name for the product and the company. The goal was to generate a strong name that would embody the concept of commercial-type stoves for the home. After narrowing the list down to five names, the group unanimously decided on Viking." (Quote Credit -- www.vikingrange.com)
And the rest, as they say, is Mississippi history.

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