North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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October 2, 2013

Gardendale Jewelers to shut its doors

Owner Bob Boffa cites health issues



“He’s known as the mayor of Our Place,” Boffa said with a smile. Our Place is a family-owned restaurant a couple of doors down from the jewelry store; Chris is a mainstay there.

“That may change,” Boffa said. “But there may still be a Boffa presence if Kathy stays in the area.”

That is still a question mark; Boffa said Kathy wants to remain in the jewelry business but she has not decided where.

Boffa’s health began declining last year after he was bitten on the ear by a brown recluse spider.

After receiving a strong dose of antibiotics, Boffa was not feeling better.

Further tests revealed that he had an extremely low platelet count.

He received two chemotherapy treatments and doctors removed his spleen. Boffa said his body will not accept an infusion of platelets; it causes a dangerous reaction.

He now feels weak and tired much of the time, and he has no feeling in his hands. He often has to leave work in the afternoons because he is exhausted.

Boffa does not know what he will do after he closes the store, and he said that is the scary part.

“I’ve worked since I was 15,” he said. “It’s my life. It’s all I know.”

One thing he is excited about is getting a chance to visit St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Gardendale. Boffa, who lives in Tarrant, said he never felt right abut attending church in the same city where he worked, because he doesn’t think church should be used to promote a business.

In his 46 years in the jewelry business, Boffa has seen changes – and not all for the better.

“I love what I do, because you get the see the best of a family – the engagements, birthdays, anniversaries,” he said. “But now the loyalty is gone. Now a woman wants a one-carat ring to get married. They used to work their way up and build a relationship.”

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