Many of them have a story they want to share. Many of them have a complaint about what they read in the paper. No matter what, we listen to everybody.
And over the years there have been a number of regulars come in to share their story or just to say hi.
One of my favorites over the years has been Stan Obrenovich. Stan has been one of uptown Norwalk’s biggest boosters. He has rubbed many people the wrong way — that’s just the way he is.
From parking spots to billboards, there are many stories you can tell about Stan.
I wrote a column about Stan on Nov. 6, 2001. It was Election Day when he was running for mayor against Brooks Hartmann.
I said at the time Stan would be better off losing to Hartmann and then becoming the mayor’s safety-service director.
Stan couldn’t sit behind a desk and do all of the things it takes to be a mayor. He’s the kind of guy who has to get out there, roll up his sleeves and make things happen. He painted his buildings and shoveled his own sidewalks. There is nothing he wouldn’t do.
He’s slowed down quite a bit because of his health, but he does have a little left in the engine.
The Reflector is advertising for a writer and Stan came in to throw his hat into the ring.
He certainly doesn’t want the job, but he saw it as an opportunity the get his name out there and let people know just how much he did for his city.
This is what his letter said:
My name is Stan Obrenovich. I’m 81 years old. I worked as a locomotive engineer for over 30 years.
While investing with my partner, Dick Striker, in uptown buildings, I’ve served on city council and been very involved in Norwalk and the uptown community.
We purchased the Laser Image building on West Main Street. Later on we purchased the building at 1 and 5 E. Main St.
I’ve rented 1-3 Main St. to the Diamond Collection as a jewelry store. They have been at this location with me over 25 years.
Five East Main is the Main St. Cafe, a restaurant. It’s been there over a year and is doing fantastic. We continue working on this building. We sold the Laser Image building and paid off the 1-5 Main St. building
My attorney said I should get a name for the businesses and incorporations.
I was listening to the radio and they were saying it was a speculative market over and over. I was driving to Cleveland where on the radio they were advertising Ventures Cigarettes. Voila — Speculative Ventures was born. Hope to continue supporting Norwalk and uptown community (if time permits).
A few years ago, I had open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Five bypasses, pacemaker and a defibrillator. Number of years later, I had an embolism, blood clot in each lung and one leg. I also have had a stroke.
I will continue to be involved in Norwalk and the uptown community with the good Lord permitting.
It’s guys like Stan Obrenovich who make this job interesting. Former publisher Jack Brown once told me everybody has a story to tell — some are just better than others.
Stan’s story has always been a fun one to tell.
Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]