For virtually all of my life I’ve been involved in, and benefitted from, small business. Starting as a young boy when our father would take us to work with him on Saturdays. My brother Joe and I would pass out handbills, door to door, in the neighborhoods around the little grocery store my dad and his brothers owned and operated. Over the years as they grew, and we grew, we advanced to sweeping the floor, bagging groceries, and I followed my dad in learning the skills of a meat-cutter.
I can’t say I was over-joyed every morning that he woke us up early (before sunrise) to head for work on Saturday at the store. We missed some of the fun things our friends were doing, but as I’ve gone through life, I’ve had many times to think and reflect on how blessed I have been. I had such great parents who always put their boys ahead of themselves, who taught us so much through both word and deed, the values of honesty, hard work, service, and so many others.
As a young man, with children and a wonderful, supporting wife of my own, I joined my mom and dad in a little retail western wear business they had started with funding from mortgaging their home. My four brothers all joined in and over the years, we grew to over 50 stores, before I left to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mom and Dad and our brother John have moved on, but the legacy they have left is strong and thriving. After 22 years in the Congress and many wonderful experiences and new friends, I decided to retire and begin a new chapter. I guess it’s only natural that I would start a new small business. And wouldn’t you know, my wife and partner of almost 54 years, have been joined by our son Howard and his wife Heather and the beat goes on.
We’ve been joined by great associates, and blessed with wonderful clients, and we’re working hard every day to live by the values taught to me so many years ago by those great parents.