John Karabelas Obituary, Death – Cotton Caper. Every morning, he was in charge of selecting CDs for the 6-disc changer that was located at the rear of the shop. When he knew that his mother, my Grandma Ruth, was going to be working, he would always play Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra for her. When we had a sale, he created signs out of large pieces of poster board and painted them with red. These posters were hung in the storefront window.
They seemed to have been done by a child in the third grade, and regardless matter whether the discount was ten, twenty, or fifty percent, he always painted a happy face within the zero. receipts created by hand and made on yellow carbon copy paper. Prices that constantly ended in fifty cents, which I would say were priced too cheap on several occasions. The old cash register made of metal, which was exceedingly heavy and which we transported from shop to store using a hand truck.
My father argued that Cotton Caper was always a store and never a shop. In his mind, a shop was an expensive boutique, and he took great delight in the fact that we had never become one. The place to go for pricing that won’t break the bank—that was his credo. Through the years, he has established businesses all the way from Jamesport to Greenport, Sag Harbor, Hampton Bays, East and Center Moriches. The very first store he opened was in Jamesport and it was named Fashion Farm and it was located on Main Road.
Even though he was 73 years old, he was still responsible for the bulk of the purchasing and maintained tight ties and communication with our suppliers. It was always strange discussing with people that my dad, a 6-foot-tall, bearded old man, was the proprietor of the business; nonetheless, he was a diligent worker, a go-getter, and (surprise and humorously) had an incredible eye for fashion. He was genuinely outstanding in his performance at work. In addition to his family, the shop was his life, and he was very passionate about it.