Passing the Torch from Red’s to Redeux

(Information for this post was collected from an interview with Charlotte Halpin at her home on June 3, 2014; a 2008 YorkBlog post and a 2011 York Daily Record article.)

Charlotte Halpin is what you could call a tinker. In 1943, she began working for C.B. "Red" Klinedinst. She was 13. Or 14; the details are a little fuzzy. 

Most evenings and Saturdays, you could find her at Klinedinst's store, 105-115 S. Duke St., the new home of Redeux, a vintage and handmade marketplace. In a time before malls and shopping centers, Klinedinst’s store was truly one-stop-shopping. Over the years, the shop was a purveyor of motorcycles, appliances, kitchenware, televisions, radios and furniture. But the store, which opened in 1909, was most known for selling and repairing bicycles.

For 25 cents an hour, Charlotte did it all. But she most enjoyed working on the bikes: building wheels, assembling bicycles and making repairs.  

Charlotte says Red treated her like family. "He always said, 'I'll never ask anybody to do anything that I would not do myself,' and that was the way he ran his business.”

After Klinedinst died in the 1950’s, George Royer, his son-in-law, became president of the business and operated the shop for 30 years until his death in 2008. As the shop changed hands, Charlotte remained.

She was an institution. Modern-day shoppers remembered her from their childhood visits to the store. And they knew that, after more than 65 years at Red’s, Charlotte knew her stuff. Said one, “If she tells you that’s what you need, that’s what you need.” Asked to describe the oldest piece of the store’s inventory, Charlotte will tell you, “Me.”

When C.B. “Red” Klinedinst’s finally closed in 2012, Charlotte took it upon herself to clean out the store. Much of the “junk” still remains in her home today. It was important for her to “do it right, do it the way I think he (Red) would have wanted.”

Now, Charlotte is excited about the space’s second chance at life. She’s planning a trip over to 113 S. Duke Street for Redeux’s grand opening and to check out York’s newest one-stop-shop.

Redeux, like Klinedinst’s, will carry many items from a time gone by. You’ll shop at Redeux for the antique, the handcrafted, the salvaged, the unexpected, the uncommon. You’ll find home decor, housewares, furniture, clothing, jewelry, art and vinyl records. We’re hoping you’ll see Charlotte once in a while. And maybe even a bicycle or two.

                              Redeux owner Alexandra Dwyer with Charlotte Halpin at her home in 2014. 

                              Redeux owner Alexandra Dwyer with Charlotte Halpin at her home in 2014.