Customers of Sentinel Self Storage in Dover, Del., show their appreciation to facility manager Charlotte Tackett in a distinct way. Rather then baked goods or thank-you cards, Tackett’s tenants gift her with rocks to add to her growing collection.
Called “Miss Charlotte” or “Granny” by her tenants, the longtime facility manager puts customers at ease as they undergo what can often be a stressful time in their lives. Over the years, customers have rewarded her kindness with unique rocks including some from far-off places like Mount Kilimanjaro. Her collection includes a flat river rock on which a customer wrote “Sandy Hook” with a pink heart to commemorate the 2012 shooting at the Connecticut school. Tackett has also received a mini stone Buddha, a pillar lava rock from Germany, and a gold-flecked stone from Promised Land State Park in Pennsylvania.
Due to its nearness to Dover Air Force base, Sentinel Self Storage has a large military clientele. While her customers serve their country overseas, Tackett stays in contact with their family members. In turn, several military tenants have given her rocks from places where they were stationed including Australia, Iraq, Libya and Kyrgyzstan. Other gifts include a decorated conch shell from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, metal crosses from Portugal and a bracelet from China.
Tackett, who worked for a variety of companies before joining Sentinel, became the full-time manager and trainer at the company’s Dover facility in 2005. She began collecting rocks two decades ago, encouraging friends and customers to think of her when they traveled. Much of her collection is displayed in the facility’s office atop a filing cabinet, and in wicker baskets and containers. Each gift is special, as is each giver and story behind it, Tackett told the source.
Family owned and operated since 1989, Sentinel Self Storage has facilities in Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.