My life, my words: John Knoche — Small-town living
Sales Manager, Cook Chevrloet
“I grew up in Washington, D.C., My parents were government workers, which is why we were there. I spent the first 18 years of my life in (Washington) D.C. I moved out here to go to college in Colorado. I went to Mesa State College in Grand Junction and the University of North Colorado. I chose Mesa because I had a basketball scholarship, but that never really happened. I got too interested in girls and everything else going on at school and wasn’t disciplined enough to play college sports.
“I originally went to school to be a teacher. But, I thought about all the people out there making money, so I wasn’t sure I still wanted to be a teacher. After I was done with school, I decided to stay, so I came to Craig in 1971. It was kind of a culture shock after growing up in Washington, D.C., to come to Craig of all places. I had a job as a pharmaceutical wholesaler. I did that for 20 years for a company out of Grand Junction, but lived here in Craig while I did it. The company went out of business because it was on the edge of the economic slowdown.
“I came to work here at Cook Chevrolet in 1993 and I’ve been here since. I was a customer of Cook’s before I worked here and they always took care of me. I started out as a salesman and worked my way through the operation and now I am the sales manager here. I have family and friends come in and they are always nervous they are going to get taken advantage of, so we try to make it as smooth of a process as possible.
“The reason I am the sales manager is because I’m the tallest one here and I can reach the light bulb. I have no real assigned duties. I am just simply over the sales department. I also help Scott Cook in the other operations he has to do, the day-to-day type stuff. When he isn’t here, stuff needs to get done and I kind of take care of that. I also still sell cars. When I used to sell cars, I had a pretty good client list and so if they come in and still want to work with me, I do so. This is small-town America and people trust who they know.
“I’m not a rocket scientist and I’m not a math teacher. When I first starting work (at Cook’s), I couldn’t even turn on the computer. I had no idea how to do that stuff. So a lot of the stuff I know I have learned after being here for so long. I think that is how someone becomes good at a job like this.
“I have three kids, and they are all grown now and two of them have moved out of the area. All three are graduates of Moffat County High School. There is a great school system here. Up until recently, my wife worked in the school system and now she is going to be the new kindergarten teacher at Calvary Baptist Church.
“When I’m not working, I am a major sports fan. I do everything from fantasy football to being a big baseball and basketball fan. Up until recently, I played on softball teams here. … Right now, I still really like to fish. But I am at the dealership for a lot of hours, so I like to have fun when I’m off. It is nice to come to a job that you look forward too though.
“I stayed in Craig because I had family ties here, and I thought it was a great place to raise kids. My family had a ranch just south of Hayden where I spent my summers. I’ve always liked the pace here. Everybody knows everyone else. Since I’ve been here and the job I have, I know a lot of people in town and it’s something I really enjoy.”