by Karen Alberg Grossman

Harry Silver, figurehead of menswear store Weiss & Goldring in Alexandria, La and, until recently, a highly respected city councilman (who just retired at age 99!) celebrated his century of life yesterday to much acclaim from family, friends, colleagues and community. (He’s pictured above with his oldest – age 9 – great grandson Weiss, sixth generation and named after the store founder.)

Alexandria’s mayor Jeff Hall stopped by the store with certificates of commendation and appreciation: “Harry’s always looked to bring out the good in the city he has loved and called home for most of his life.”

What’s more, the street adjacent to the store (founded in 1899) has just been renamed Silver Drive.

I called Harry yesterday to say a quick hello and sang him “Happy Birthday”; he told me I had a lovely voice. (No one has a worse voice than me!) He insisted he feels the same at 100 as he did at 99, then reminisced a bit about how he used to take his son Ted (now running the store) into the city during market weeks starting at age three! “He always showed a real interest in the menswear business and he’s doing a ten times better job at retailing than I ever did!”

He then spoke about moving south after living in East Orange, NJ where he went to law school. “I hated the cold weather so I moved south and fell in love with Alexandria. The people are truly forward-thinking; I’m grateful to have all of my family living in Louisiana—16 of us if you count kids, grandkids and great grandkids…”

Finally, asked what advice he’d give to someone in the menswear business today, he suggested we stop complaining. “It doesn’t take brains to complain,” he reminded me. “Do your best and enjoy what you do or do something else.”

Says Ted, “How lucky am I to work side by side with this man for 50 years? He’s my father, my mentor, and my very best friend.”


  1. I first met Harry in the late 60’s & he has always epitomized the perfect gentleman in both dress & demeanor. Something not necessarily found today. Happy Birthday Mr. Silver.

  2. No one knows these legends like Karen Alberg Grossman. She, and they, are treasures to the industry. Thank you, Karen, for your wealth of knowledge and depth of heart!

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