Fifty years in business is naturally going to have its ups and downs. 99-year-old Ila May Dimmitt could never forget her biggest struggle in a half-century as the owner of Show Me Antiques in Hannibal.

When the Great Flood of 1973 hit Hannibal, Ila May and her husband Melvin had no doubt their shop at 320 North Main was in danger. They boxed up their inventory and managed to salvage most all of it before two feet of the muddy Mississippi invaded. Days later, Melvin suffered a major heart attack and died. Ila May was left to salvage the shop and put together the pieces of her life.

Ila May persevered and now is being recognized for her decades of achievement. On October 19 at 2:00 pm the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council in cooperation with the Hannibal Arts Council will present Ila Dimmitt with a portrait painted by acclaimed watercolor artist and illustrator Brenda Beck-Fisher in honor of her 50-year commitment to Main Street as a Hannibal business woman.

Ila May says it's the people she meets at Show Me Antiques that has kept her opening her doors seven days a week for 50 years.

"You see all kinds of people in this line of business and that's the fun part," she said.

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