Retail Tales – Jerry Grote plays Tennis

It is the mid 80’s. Geno had a lot of friends from his early baseball playing days. One of them was Jerry Grote. This particular summer he stayed in the Gunnison area and helped out at the store a bit. When you look up ‘competitive’ in the dictionary it shows a picture of Jerry. So one weekend four of us decided to go play some tennis. Jerry, me, Mike McGinnis and Bill Bloomquist. We are playing along, talking smack and generally having a good time. Jerry decides it is time to ramp up the game a bit.


First he starts betting on the outcome of the next game. We choose partners and the game commences. About halfway through the first set he unleashes a verbal tirade on one of his opposing players. I forget if it is Mike or Bill right now. Anyway he just is brutal. Yelling at the top of his voice brutal. He is purposely getting into his opposing players head. Psyche out.  And it continues for the rest of the game. And we win solely because the game needed to end as fast as possible before someone starts a fight.

Later I ask Jerry about his attitude during the contest. “Just wanted to win, thats all” he says with a shrug. Testosterone and competitiveness, a lethal combination.


Retail Tales – Phone Call

Gene Taylor on the pond in front of the store.
Gene Taylor on the pond in front of the store.

Gene Taylors was open from 10 am until 4 pm on Sundays. One afternoon I fielded a call. “What time are you open  on Sundays?” she asked. “From 10 till 4 Ma’am” I answered. Then, “when do you close?”