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Remembering G&G

January 7, 2011

Today, Jim Strycker, Jack Greenlee, Bryan Emond and Bob Gibbons (back) reminisce about the early days of G&G. Photo by Ida Chipman

PLYMOUTH — Grocers Jack Greenlee, Bob Gibbons, Bryan Emond, and Jim Strycker have a lot in common.
All but one (Gibbons) graduated from Plymouth High School. Gibbons is from Richland Center, in northern Fulton County.
All have been married to their wives for decades, have multiple children and grandchildren and are members of a Methodist Church.
All worked at the former G&G supermarket for years. Most started at 50 cents an hour.
“That was pretty good pay then,” Gibbons said.
“Walt and Chuck (Glaub) were good people to work for,” Greenlee said.
Friends and co-workers for years, they used to take their daily coffee breaks and play a few hands of Liar’s Poker at Bart’s Fiesta Grill.
Jack, the oldest at 81, worked at G&G for 40 years.
Gibbons said “Jack, the manager of the store, did everything.”
Jack retired in 1989.
Gibbons worked 20 years in canned vegetables, soup, baby foods and dairy. He also helped Greenlee with frozen foods and carry-outs.
Bryan Emond was in fresh produce. He started working at G&G when he was 16 and retired 22 years later. He is now the produce manager for Martin’s Super Market in Rochester.
Jim Strycker started his career as a butcher at Pete Merriman’s when he was 16. He worked for G&G from 1963 until 1980, when Miller’s bought them out. He was the go-to meat guy for 14 years at Miller’s until Martin’s acquired the store — and he has been there ever since.
He still has all 10 of his fingers, an occupational hazard for butchers.
“I always expected to work,” he said. “Being on your feet instead of your seat at home makes for a healthier person.”
The men have always been extremely civic minded.
Greenlee was Mayor of Plymouth for eight years and served on the County and City Council and Park Board.
Emond was a fireman and EMT and served on the City Council. He also generously repaired the ovens used by the Meals on Wheels for their projects.
Gibbons was active with the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, as a Sunday School teacher and coached Little League in baseball and basketball.
Strycker was a Township Trustee for six terms.
Bob mentioned that they had wonderful longtime co-workers. To name only a few there were: Don Jones, Roger Romig, Dean Holderread, Pauline McCann, Penny Paxton, John Brown, Renata Anderson, Sandy Holland and Judy Hiss.
Virginia Spencer, Doris Davidson and Laura Stiles were other names that came up in the conversation.
Greenlee noted that G&G was a wonderful place for the high school kids to work.
A leading heart specialist in South Bend, Dr. Paul Howard, formerly of Plymouth, said of Gibbons, “He is the one that taught me how to work hard to get anyplace in the world.”

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