HEFLIN — George Bowdon, owner of Kojack’s Variety Store in downtown Heflin, wants everyone to know he’s coming back soon.
Kojack’s, on Ross Street, has been closed since last September due to Bowdon’s medical issues, he said Monday.
The last time the 82-year-old visited the store he opened 34 years ago was last December to watch the Heflin Christmas Parade.
Bowdon said he had hip-replacement surgery last week but is doing “pretty good,” all things considered.
“I’m moving around a little better,” Bowdon said on Monday.
Kojack’s has been in business since 1985 and is classified as a variety store. Anyone who passes through the weathered front door enters an eclectic mixture of old and new.
Merchandise ranging from a plastic Virgin Mary, pipe fittings, fishing poles and spray paint can be purchased along with a dose of Bowdon’s humor and broad smile. On any given day when Kojack’s is open, a collection of mismatched chairs are filled with his customers exchanging the news of Heflin and world affairs.
It was the people that Bowdon missed the most during his absence from his store, he said.
“I miss all my buddies, I reckon, and I can’t throw up my hand in the sidewalk,” said Bowdon.
Bowdon said he put his phone number on the front door of the business if anyone wants to call him to check up him until he returns.
“I guess it will be a couple of weeks or a little longer before I get back,” Bowdon said.
Bowdon said that he plans to go to rehab soon to help him recover and yearns to bet back to policing the sidewalk in front of his store.
“Tell them all to pray for me and I’ll get back,” Bowdon said.