gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 106

In 1972 they opened Gilroy Appliance and TV, which is the reason they came to Gilroy. The store was located on Monterey Road. Back then, Monterey was called Highway 101. That’s right, there was no freeway then. Gary said that he had to keep the front door of the store closed because it was very noisy and every day he would get to the store early and wash down the dust because of the high volume of traffic. The store was open six days a week, so when we bought our appliances from Gilroy Appliance and TV, Gary the owner would guarantee delivery the same day but not until after five, when he closed the store. That’s right, he did his own deliveries. When we opened Digger Dan’s Restaurant in 1974, (where CVS is now located, on First and Wren), Gary and Alma were regular customers and so it was only appropriate to buy our appliances from Gary. Another incentive for getting to the store early was having coffee with other merchants. In the ‘70s there were two shoe stores, one owned by Joe Rizzuto and the other was managed by Mike Hughes, which was called Mr. Art’s. Both of their stores were located close to the current site of Fifth Street Coffee. When they first opened the store, Alma stayed at home and cared for the children, but at that time there was an organization called the Gilroy Newcomers which she joined. From her early days in the Newcomers, she joined another local organization called the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. That Sorority today supports organizations such as Operation Freedom Paws, the Compassion Center, and Informed Choices. To this day, she counts the women that she met among her best friends. They gather regularly, to raise funds for charities by working at the Garlic Festival. Back in the early days, Gary joined the Gilroy Jaycees, which at the time was a branch of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. Long time Gilroyans including shop teacher Jack Rymers and Insurance Broker Ron Mingus were instrumental in getting Gary involved. Gary says that before the Garlic Festival, there was the “Bonanza Days” celebration that included a parade. The Jaycees would build and enter a float in the parade and, in fact, they once even won a prize for their float building. In the early eighties Alma and Gary sold the appliance business. They bought a motor home and took the kids on a 10,000 mile trip across the United States. Gary then went into outside appliance sales for high-end appliance brands like Thermador, Dacor, Fisher Paykel and Miele. In the meantime, Alma went to work for the Gilroy Unified School District. Her first job with the school district was going to work at 6 am and personally calling substitutes and placing them in their assignments. There was no automation then. This was when the School District was located at Third and Church. After that, she worked in Special Education for 10 years at Gilroy High School followed by assignments at El Roble and Luigi Aprea for a total of 28 years with the District. Gary volunteered with Dr. Phil Buchanan and his wife, Joan, in garlic bread at the Garlic Festival for Gilroy Presbyterian Church. He then went on to serve as Co-Chair of Gourmet Alley. As mentioned previously, Alma worked at the Festival with the sorority. Gary also works at the AT&T Golf Tournament. Alma and Gary have been involved with the Gilroy Presbyterian in roles as Elder and Deacon. Gary and Alma love the beach, and one of the reasons they love Gilroy is because it is close to the ocean. In fact, one day while walking the beach, they met a woman and in their discussion, found out that she once lived in Gilroy. When she asked where they lived they responded, “on Hecker Pass and the house was built by Walt Hanna.” Her response was, “That was my father, and I lived there too.” It’s just a small world. They love the proximity to San Jose and San Francisco. Alma just went to see the play “Kinky Boots” in San José. They love the local wineries and frequent them. Alma rides her bike, Gary walks and they regularly visit First Street Coffee, where there is a drink called the Gary. At Christmas time he plays Santa at the coffee house (he bought a new Santa outfit for the occasion). Both Gary and Alma love meeting and getting to know people at church, at the supermarket, and at local events. They love being close to where their grandchildren live. They are so appreciative of the reception that they got when they moved to Gilroy in the ‘70s and they have maintained the ability to know so many because of their community involvement. That sign in their kitchen that says “Chico—Where Our Story Begins” gives me the incentive to give them another sign that says “Gilroy—We are happy you are here.” Sam Bozzo has lived in Gilroy since 1976. He has served as President of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association and has been a demonstration chef at the event for many years. He is co-writer, with Gene Sakahara, of the local best-seller Any Bozzo Can Cook, cookbook and has been part of the SakaBozzo comedy duo for many years. He lives in Gilroy with his wife, Judy. They have two sons who, with their families, also call Gilroy their home. 106 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2017 gmhtoday.com In 1972 they opened Gilroy Appliance and TV, which is the reason they came to Gilroy. The store was located on Monterey Road. Back then, Monterey was called Highway 101. That’s right, there was no freeway then. Gary said that he had to keep the front door of the store closed because it was very noisy and every day he would get to the store early and wash down the dust because of the high volume of traffic. The store was open six days a week, so when we bought our appliances from Gilroy Appliance and TV, Gary the owner would guarantee delivery the same day but not until after five, when he closed the store. That’s right, he did his own deliveries. When we opened Digger Dan’s Restaurant in 1974, (where CVS is now located, on First and Wren), Gary and Alma were regular customers and so it was only appropriate to buy our appliances from Gary. Another incentive for getting to the store early was having coffee with other merchants. 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