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January 11, 2013


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Always reminded of Ernie Bisio when I see this. Ernie was the long-time International Truck Dealer on Sandy.
When Ernie was young he drowned of the SJ dock and was revived by Staff Jennings himself.
Ernie retold that story his entire life.

From their web page:Our History

By age 17, Stafford ¿Staff¿ Jennings served with his father in the Merchant Marines; whereupon, off the coast of Guam his boat caught fire, the crew was evacuated before sinking. He drifted 1300 miles and finally landed on Samar in the Philippines. With little more than ½ rations, 33 men were crowded into a 20-man lifeboat to spend the next 26 days drifting on the open seas. Finally, 11 men of the 33 landed on Samar but 2 drowned when their boat turned over on the reef. Stafford¿s father died of thirst on the 19th day out. Only 9 of the 33 survived the ordeal.

Stafford ¿Staff¿ Jennings was among those fortunate and courageous few. He returned to Portland where he worked several years at a few different marine dealerships. In 1929 he contracted to have a small boathouse built on the Willammette River and started repairing outboard motors.

This was soon outgrown and he contracted to have a 1726 sq. ft. boathouse built. He had living quarters built on the second floor where he and his family lived. With their help he would sometimes work three days and nights straight to get the repairs done for his fishing customers.

The following year he expanded into sales and service.

Staff Jennings, Inc. has operated continuously at the West End of the Sellwood Bridge in Portland for almost 75 years and is the third oldest marine dealership in the United States under the same management according to Boat & Motor Dealer Magazine. We have grown to our present size and position of respect and quality as a result of our commitment to excellence in our relationship with our customers, suppliers, and family of employees.

Staff Jennings incorporated in 1951; however, it has always been a family business. In 1958, we opened a store in Eugene which has enjoyed almost 50 years of customer satisfaction.

The philosophy of Staff Jennings is simple; Treat people the way you want to be treated and customers should always be happier when they leave than when they came in.

As itjd said on the post honoring Les Schwab you can't beat a business that bares the name of the owner.

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