“I grew up in Burlington, Colo., out on I-70 by the Kansas (state) line. I went to school there, high school there and graduated from Burlington High School. My dad owned a car dealership in Burlington when I was growing up and I basically grew up in the store. I was around the dealership and worked there up until we left Burlington.
“My family and I moved to Craig in 1972, but first we went to Alaska. We were going to homestead up there. We were tired of the John Q. Public. We fished a little bit while we were up there, but we didn’t stay there very long, only about five days. It was overcast and cloudy all the time plus the economy wasn’t the best and we just wanted to be back down in the country area in Colorado. I really like the hunting and fishing areas in Craig.
“We came in a camper and a new Blazer at the time. We parked it out in the camper lot. We looked around for work and one morning I was going through Hayden looking for places. There was an old station out there and the guy who owned it was sitting outside and waved at me. So I figured I would go talk to him. That afternoon I bought that station. I went to the local bank and borrowed money against my camper and Blazer. I bought a truckload of gas and went to work.
“We owned that business for awhile. I bought a lot of my parts from the Big A parts store here and when Texaco decided to shut down our station, the man who owned the parts store offered me a job. So I went to work there.
“After I worked at Big A for awhile, I bought a building and put a mechanic shop in it. We owned that store for seven years before I sold it and it eventually became Rocky Mountain Automotive. I ended up buying the Big A store, which we owned for 18 years. I just wanted to own a parts store. The (Big A) company eventually went bankrupt so our store changed to Carquest. We had a lot of problems with them, so we went independent in 1997. We sell anything from fishing poles to truck beds to boat stuff.
“My son, Rich, was born there as was my daughter, Kelly. My other son, Brad, was born here in Craig. All three went to school here in Moffat County and graduated from the high school. We also have nine grandkids. The store is all family run. Some of us run the air-tech supply and the rest of us run the Auto Parts of Craig. We do whatever it takes, no matter the hours. The store is basically open all the time.
“I like to fish, I like to hunt and I really like to trap shoot. I’ll go all over to do any of these things. I basically run the trap club here in Craig.
“Every winter we go to at least one shoot that is a long ways away. This past winter we went to San Antonio. We have been to Tuscan, Las Vegas, Illinois, and Ohio. I use to do it with my boys and even my wife, but they are getting busier as they are older, so it’s more just me with the club. I enjoy it a lot, though.”