Bowing out


FARMINGTON – Reny’s Manager Carolyn Mayhew retired Tuesday after running the Broadway store for 20 years.

She came back Wednesday morning to say one last goodbye to her former co-workers, many of whom tried, unsuccessfully, to blink back tears while talking to or about her.

For Mayhew, retirement marks the beginning of a big adventure. She and fianc John Tarbox, originally of Wiscasset, bought a 38-foot sailboat last winter and will be leaving in two weeks for the Bahamas, where the boat is moored. When they get there, Mayhew says, she and Tarbox plan on sailing back to Maine and cruising the rocky Down East coast, known the world over for spectacular sailing, all summer long. Then, she said, it’s back to the Bahamas for a winter of sailing and exploring in the Caribbean.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. She and Tarbox, both experienced sailors, plan to marry “in late June, in Key West.”

But as excited as she is to start her next adventure, Mayhew’s eyes filled with tears Thursday when describing what she’s leaving behind. “I’ll miss the casual atmosphere and those friendly, familiar smiles,” she said, turning away and wiping her eyes. She’ll miss the excitement of working at the discount store, too.

“It’s like Christmas every day,” she said, explaining the contents of each morning’s trucks are a surprise to her, as much as they are to the customers. “That’s one of the things that makes (working there) interesting,” she said.

Clerk Mary Moore, who has worked at Reny’s the past nine-and-a-half years, said all the people Mayhew worked with “are going to miss her desperately.”

“She’s been super to us,” Moore said. “She’s always coming up with something crazy. She’s funny, she makes you relax. She has a really good way of talking to someone and making them feel comfortable,” she said.