What do you do?
Where do you work and what is your title?
I work at Old Colorado City Surplus, and HQ Company our wholesale and manufacturing company at 28th Street and West Colorado Ave. I am the owner along with my wife Evelyn.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
As the owner, I am responsible for all aspects of the operations of the businesses. I do most of the purchasing along with my sons, Clint and Justin, source (which means finding) military surplus goods from around the world; and perfom some accounting duties, direct customer sales and customer relations.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
I started in this industry at the age of 14 with Mr. Clarion Chambon at Surplus City in 1970 and continued with Mr. David Lippincott when he purchased it in 1985 until June of 2006. In 1997, I stepped away from the retail side to develop HQ Company (the wholesale side of the business) for Mr. Lippincott. In 2006, I purchased HQ Company and opened Old Colorado City Surplus. So in total, I have been doing this kind of work for about 38 years. I am a native of Colorado Springs and have been on the Westside most of my life.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
I really enjoy the sourcing of goods from other parts of the world, working with other cultures in the same industry. But probably the most rewarding part is to be able to fill someone’s needs with the product we carry, or to direct them where they might find it.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
I truly enjoy what I do and feel extremely blessed to be able to work with my family on a daily basis and to know that they are satisfied in doing what I have put my life’s work into. The only thing I can think of that I would change would be to figure out a way to communicate to those on the east side of town that Old Colorado City (Westside) is a great place to shop.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
The various aspects of paperwork that go with owning a business (accounting, computer.) Most of what I have learned about the two I have grasped by observing, or just having to do myself. Thankfully I have a very good bookkeeper.
What makes working on the Westside special?
The Westside is a special place because of its people. They live life in a more laid-back manner, rather than being hurried. They are loyal to this side of town and take time to visit and watch out for each other and enjoy the charm of a past era as well as its proximity to the mountains.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.