And here we are in our new, clean, air-conditioned car
rental building! We often think fondly of the many locals who have worked for
the St. John Car Rental family, either as car rental clerks, mechanics or
bodymen. One of our earliest mechanics, whom we inherited from Forest Fisher,
was Max Melius. Teresa "Red" Fisher, the naturalist painter who now lives in
the Washington state area, was one of our first car rental clerks. "Mean" Jean
Vance of Skinnylegs fame, Dawn Turner, a childhood friend of our sons, Paula
Lambert, who does bookkeeping services today, Michael Beason, of Ben & Jerry
fame, and Deanna Somerville, presently a National Park Ranger, rented vehicles
for us. Paul Hopper, who now lives in Florida, did our mechanic work for
years. Halstead "Hally" Francis, who originally worked as an apprentice with
Paul, does much of our mechanic work today. Bobby Morton started off working
as one of our body man, and today is an integral part of our daily work force.
Magabe Calixte, trained with manager Thom MacDonald (who worked for us for
over ten years and now resides in Michigan), and worked alongside of Bobby and
Albert with the day to day rental routines. When our car rental building
burned down, Moe Chabuz, present owner of Skinny Legs, and our friend Tony
Romanoski helped build us a new one. John Johannson, brother of Victor, was
the carpenter on that project.
Weíve had many mascots join the car rental during these 27
years. Our first, a black cat called "Whiskers" often slept on top of the
podium where the contracts were signed. He often gave people a bit of a shock
when they went to sign their names, assuming this furry black thing was a
piece of cloth. He also played around on the roof, got under the palm thatch,
and thus put holes in our roof. We had him drawn on our car rental stationary.
The next important car rental mascot we had was "Brown Dog." "Brown" lived up
by our house at Enighed and followed us to work each morning, and returned
home after us each evening. We often went to lunch at the Upper Deck
restaurant in Bethany (up on that steep hill), and he would run after the car
and arrive exhausted but happy. Then came a dog called "757" or "Spot" who was
a stray who lived under one of our vehicles with the tag number of 757. When
Tom MacDonald joined us, he brought "Lazlo" the macaw, a not so friendly
parrot who once lunged across the counter to bite me on the arm! He was
replaced by "Pirate", a more amenable macaw. And then came Thomís English
bulldog, "Tasha". We are presently trying very hard to keep the iguana family
that lives in the area as our new mascots, but the vehicles coming down from
Gallows Point often go too fast and have run some of them over.
Itís been a long and mostly happy adventure. We invite you
all to stop by and visit our car rental family in our lovely building.