Edwin J. Goldstein

1930 – 2020

Ed Goldstein

Ed Goldstein, retired publisher of American Drycleaner magazine, died November 11 in Scottsdale, AZ at the age of 90.

Goldstein was born in Chicago, and spent nearly 25 years as publisher of American Trade Magazines, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He began at American Drycleaner in 1959 as director of marketing, and took over from retiring publisher Don Martin in 1974. He retired from the magazine group in 1997.

Fabricare Canada publisher Marcia Todd, early in her career, worked at American Trade Magazines with Ed. “He was a very pleasant co-worker,” she said. “He used his authority very lightly. He was the heart and soul of the office, and a very warm person.”

Known for his intellectual abilities, sense of humor and knowledge of a wide array of subjects, Goldstein moved quietly through the industry making friends. “He will be missed,” said Todd.

Goldstein was a U.S. Navy vetran, and held undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), where he was a letterman and a member of the Praetorians fraternity. Among many leadership roles, he was president of the District 69 School Board, president of the Temple Judea Mizpah in Skokie, IL, and president of the Temple Brotherhood.

He is survived by his wife Carole of 67 years, children Beverly, Brad and Rhonda, four grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Kenney Slatten

It is with a heavy heart that I received the news that Kenney Slatten, former executive director of the Western [US] States Drycleaners and Laundry Association, and long-time industry consultant — known everywhere as “The Cowboy Cleaner” — had lost his battle with cancer on October 15. It has been known for some months that his struggle was intensifying, but it is still a blow to know he is gone.

Kenney Slatten

Kenney was a third-generation dry cleaner who had multiple stores in Houston, TX in the 1970s. He moved from cleaning to training and later became a certified instructor for the International Fabricare Institute (now DLI). He poured himself into environmental issues in the industry and used his expert knowledge to help cleaners comply with state licensing rules. Broadening his influence, Kenney wrote for various industry publications including the Cleaner and Launderer, American Drycleaner and others.

Kenney’s hands-on knowledge of every aspect of dry cleaning flowed out of him to anyone who needed help, and his easygoing nature made learning from him fun, not intimidating. If you spent any time at Canadian association conventions or Clean Shows in the early 2000s you probably encountered Kenney. He spoke regularly on dry cleaning issues, spotting, and other topics. One of my favorite memories was his staunch assertion that EVERY stain is removable. When people began muttering to themselves, he pulled out a large pair of scissors, snipping them together, and everyone laughed.

Kenney was a gentleman. He tipped that big cowboy hat of his to ladies, and stood when they entered the room. He looked you in the eye so intently that you knew without a doubt he tuned out everything else to focus on what you were saying. He read extensively, and was a self-taught expert on the JFK assassination, among other things.

Mostly, though, Kenney was a warm and lovely human being. His sign-off line for his 30-year column in The Cleaner & Launderer was, “I’m headin’ to the wagon now. These boots are killin’ me.” According to the publication, his chosen final words to the public were: “My wagon is packed and the horses are chomping at the bit… these boots will take one last slow walk to the wagon and as the ‘Cowboy Cleaner’ rides into the sunset for the last time, with a tip of the Stetson and a tear in my eye, this cowboy says… Goodbye. God willing, we will meet up yonder in the sky Lord, in the sky.”

See you there, Kenney. Keep the chuck wagon fires stoked and the coffee hot.

— Becca Anderson