Archive for Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lumberyard marks 40th anniversary

May 11, 2006

When Lansing residents heard the sound of a roaring race car engine Friday, it wasn't coming from the Kansas Speedway. Instead, it was from the parking lot of Lansing Lumber, where an Irwin Racing vehicle was put on display.

The display was part of Lansing Lumber's commemoration of its 40 years of doing business in town. The event included catering provided by Daniel's Barbecue, as well as product demonstrations put on by companies that do business with Lansing Lumber.

Pete Peterson, owner of Lansing Lumber, was modest about the festivities, however.

"We're just feeding people," he said.

Peterson has owned the company since 1983, but he began running it when it was first opened by a group of investors in 1966. He said that technologies involved have definitely improved in the 40 years he has been involved in the business, and computers have made it easier to keep track of finances.

He added that he enjoys running his company as much now as he did in 1966, and he has no plans of getting out of the business any time soon.

He said Friday's open house was a nice way to pay back his customers by letting them "enjoy a meal."

Peterson's son Jon, a full-time employee since 1982, said turnout for the event was "tremendous." "(It was) way more than I expected," he said.

He noted that many of the customers were people from out of town, most likely drawn in by the race car.

According to Peterson, there were approximately 20 suppliers putting on displays and providing customers with product information.

He mentioned one demonstration put on by fire retardant company No-Burn, where two doghouses were lit on fire - one with the product and the other without it - to showcase its effectiveness.

- Tom Slaughter is a University of Kansas journalism student and will be contributing articles this semester to The Current.

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