The Painter's Friend

Like many a wife who suddenly finds herself a widow, tall and comely Margaret Chandler Porter had a tough choice. She could sell her husband's business, or try to run it—at the risk of running it into the ground. The business Claude Tillinghast Porter left behind when he died in 1946 was a wholesale paint firm (whose slogan was "The Painter's Friend"), the St. Louis outlet of his brother's thriving Porter Paint Co. of Louisville. Margaret Porter decided to run it.

Maggie Porter says she didn't know paint from parsley, but she was...

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