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60-year Charles Curtain Worker Going Strong

For 60 years, Mary Rial has been making draperies on her sewing machine, and she has no plans to close the curtain on her long career any time soon.

The 80-year-old Rial said she recalls having had “no work experience” when she started with Charles Curtain — a fourth-generation, family owned curtain, drape and top-of-bed manufacturer based here — just before her 20th birthday.

She began as a ruffle sewer. Today, she is “still ruffling like I did when I started out,” as well as making “all kinds of specialty lines and made-to-order products,” she explained.

“I really like my job and, mostly, I like the people I work for,” she added. “As long as I am able, I will keep working, and (the company) doesn't seem to have any objection to it.”

And apparently, Charles Curtain has no choice in the matter, joked Kevin Ross, vice president and great grandson of the founders of the company, which was established in 1937. Ross said recently Rial fell from her chair and broke her wrist, but got back on her seat and started sewing again. It took him a while before he could persuade her to go to the hospital to get treatment and then stay home to take care of herself.

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