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 The song has ended for the longtime Music Go Round store in Davenport, but the music goes on for the legions of Quad-City musicians it has served.

Owner Mark Ruebling has decided to retire after 19 years in the used music equipment business. The store, located in the Village Shopping Center at 902 W. Kimberly Road, closed its doors Saturday.

"I'd been trying to sell it for the last year and was not able to find a buyer," said Ruebling, a lifelong Davenport resident.

His store was the last Music Go Round franchise in Iowa. But the Winmark Corp., the franchisor, has more than 1,180 franchises under the brands Music Go Round, Style Encore, Plato's Closet, Once Upon A Child and Play It Again Sports. 

Ruebling, 59, said major back surgery five years ago was making "it harder and harder to do a competent job." The store's closing impacts a couple of other employees.

Music Go Round carried all types of used equipment from guitars to basses, amplifiers, saxophones and more — everything from pianos and organs.

But saying goodbye to customers who have sold and bought used instruments and musical equipment has been tough. "The musical community is such a tight-knit group. We've gotten to know and get close to a lot of our customers."

And those customers have never ceased to amaze him. "I've seen a lot of interesting musical instruments come through the door," he said. "You never knew from one day to the next what people were going to come in and sell to you."

Southpark Bakery takes a long vacation

What Leo Simmons has is no half-baked idea — taking off the summer and then some from his Southpark Bakery in Rock Island.

At 75, Simmons is semi-retired and again shutting down the shop at 513 20th St. until October. "It's a little hot in here in the summer," said Simmons, who has run the bakery for 51 years.

With a handwritten sign in the window, customers were alerted to get their orders in early — he and his crew temporarily closed Saturday. No more fresh donuts, pastries, pies and breads for a few months.

But Simmons promises to be back, maybe in October "unless I can find someone to buy the place. But I haven't pushed it."

The half-year schedule began a few years back after Simmons beat a bout of cancer and was told he needed physical therapy. "I decided I might as well go back to work."

But he also decided "it was nice to be off four or five months." 

So the baking is taking a break along with Simmons; his daughter, Amy Gillespie; his fiancé, Emma Fox; and his cousin, Jolinda Simmons.

Q-C shines through John Deere Classic

As he kicked off the 2017 John Deere Classic season, Deere & Co. CEO Sam Allen made it clear that John Deere is quite proud of the tournament, its association with the PGA Tour, and what the JDC has done for the equipment maker. 

But he was quick to tell reporters last week during Media Day at TPC Deere Run, Silvis, that the event is about the 1,700 volunteers who make it happen each year and about Birdies for Charity. 

There was a time when raising $1 million or $2 million for charity through the JDC was a successful year, he said.

But in the past five years, the Quad-Cities "has really turned it up," Allen said. "Last year to do $10 and a half million in a year when attendance was way down because of the rains... and then to blow it away a couple million more than the year before, that kind of just was the cherry on top of the frosting."

Deere has committed to be the JDC's title sponsor through 2023 and until then, Allen said the plan is to "make each year better and better."

In doing so, he said that come 2023 there would be no question "we're going to go ahead and re-up it because it means so much and because we're so successful."  

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or