This is the very first letter/blog of this type that I have ever had to write. I am announcing with this letter the retirement of Spike Bement from Newport Ave. Market.
Spike is the very first employee to truly retire from Newport Ave. Market. By true retiree, I mean a person whose majority-working career was spent with our company. I first met Spike when he started working with me in 1983. Little did we know, back 32 years ago, that he would become the first full retiree of the company? (Sadly, along the journey, we have lost three souls; Tony, Jeff and Sue; who would probably be close to joining him, as they were all around the same age.)
Way back when we started working together, Spike had a full head of brown hair. While he still has a pretty full head of hair, it has become not as dark in color as it used to be. If you were to ask him, he would probably say it was me who caused him to have gray hair. In our business, we have had some unique opportunity’s to socialize over the years. We have played in numerous golf events and golf outings. We both have a tendency to slice the ball, but he has learned how to play his slice better than I have. I like to call our golf “Hit & Giggle.” We have been on some guided fishing trips where we have laughed and drank ourselves silly. We have had the opportunity to participate in some vacations with other retailers from around the United States. One memorable one was riding wave runners in the Bahamas during the day and rocking to the tunes of the Beach Boys at a private concert on the beach at the resort we were staying. We spent long weekends at Lincoln City, for probably 15 years, with Spike and Rita and their kids when they still lived at home. One nice memory was we always took a photo in the same spot so we could watch the children grow against the backdrop.
I can remember the occasion when Spike’s true value to our family was cemented. It was the fall of 1999 and Debbie and I had been asked to help open up an American Style store in Singapore. The difficulty was the job was 6 weeks long. Both Debbie and I had never been gone for more than 2 weeks at a time. Spike encouraged us to go, and lo and behold, we had record sales and earning’s while we were gone. From that moment on, Spike was “da man.”
Newport Ave. Market has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years. Our family believes that Spike and his team are the main reason we have been so blessed with recognition. As Spike goes forth into retirement, he will be missed very much by our family and associates. He has made our lives, and especially my life, pleasant.
Thanks for your many contributions to the company. Thanks for your friendship and companionship over the years. Enjoy your retirement. You have definitely earned it. In closing, come join us on Saturday, the 26th of September, for Spike Day at Newport Ave. Market. I am sure he would appreciate seeing you.
Rudy – Ringmaster of the Flying Circus/President