Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bill Groves shares good stick along with retail career travels

Bill Groves, a long time friend who lives in Chapleau says he liked my  " Good Stick " story, thanks Bill, and decided to share his own as well as a bit of history from his career in the retail business. Good stuff Bill, and as always thanks!  MJM

 By Bill Groves

I have always had a good stick ( since moving back to Chapleau in 1976 ! A couple of pictures are included.
Having semi retired from my retail life,  21 Places in 21  years in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta,  training , managing stores , then on the road as district manager  in B.C. and Alberta. Eventually I opened our own two new stores in Kamloops B.C.and ran those for nearly four years. Barbara, my wife  ran one and I ran the other one in two different shopping centres at each end of the city then sold them to the Stedman Company and retired back to Ontario as my parents had serious health problems .
Barbara (Bowland) Groves
Stedmans heard I was back in Ontario and contacted me to see if I would help out an old friend , the store manager in Cochrane Ont while he was recuperating from  a heart operation. I said ok . I ended up staying for six months ! Now it was January and I wasn't sure what I was going to work at so I offered to manage the Stedman Store In Chapleau Ont as I had just heard they had transferred the manager and had no immediate replacement.
The deal must be that they leave me in Chapleau until my kids had finished school . They agreed ! I maybe mention here that Chapleau is Barbara's home town and that's why I accepted this position.
So goes the story ! Here it is 2016 having run the store for the company for ten years then purchasing the business and the building . Ran it as Groves Department Store for twenty years and we have now been re-retired for eleven years after leasing my building to another retailer !
Back to the good stick. Sorry for the reminiscing rant ! I use a walking pole rather than a cane type stick as I find it comforting to walk with and to hunt with especially on uneven trails , bush roads etc. When hunting I use it as a hunting stick as you can see it has a short branch sticking out at waist height and one at shoulder height for resting and aiming my rifle when sitting or standing.  It is also pronged and sharp at the tip for protection from animals, snakes and unfriendly dogs !
I have made a number of cane types which my wife uses and enjoys for the steadiness it provides her while following me on these hikes on the bush trails around town and out at the cottage.
The first part of this is quite off topic but somewhere in your and my friend relationship you had asked me for a story about us so I added a bit of it here.
Thanks for inviting me to participate in your good stick / good friends stories
Bill Groves

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