R.H. Reny, the founder of Maine department store chain Renys, died last week.
We got really into the Ellsworth Renys a couple years ago. My favorite items (this was the year the girls were three) were coloring books marked down to 99 cents. They have a little of everything, clothes, food, drug store stuff, all cheap. A good place to pick up a cheap sweatshirt or raincoat or something on the way to Mt. Desert.
I recently learned about the 1988 unsolved Renys Disappearing Wife mystery.
Frank Douglas, a retired banker from Lexington, MA, reported that he and his wife Virginia stopped at the Belfast Renys on Labor Day weekend on the way to Bar Harbor so Virginia could use the rest room. Virginia never came out of the store and was never seen again. Authorities later searched the Douglas home and found a clump of her hair under a doorstep. Highly suspicious, but of course it was her own home so there could be hair lying around. Frank died soon after, and no one has ever been charged in the case.
Spooky! Shades of the Vanishing, that terrifying Dutch movie (they did an American remake too). I am not sure I’ll feel the same about Renys next time; that’s not quite the kind of Maine Adventure the store meant to offer. I wonder if the Belfast store still gets true crime aficianados checking out the ladies’ room. Or husbands looking to ditch a wife, or vice versa. I like to think Virginia is living happily today somewhere in the Caribbean under an assumed identity.