Maher finds life after True Value
Give Tom Maher a horse and a hardware store, and he’ll be a happy man. Maher took over the management duties at Big John’s Ace Hardware following the demise of the Glenwood Springs True Value Hardware at the end of 2005. The switch from True Value to an Ace franchise was easy, he said, because, as far customers are concerned, the two chains are operated alike. But Maher said he has found success and happiness in the hardware business because he likes the variety of people he’s able to help and the varied line of products he works with. “Each day is never the same,” he said. After all, that’s what most people are looking for in a job, he said. Maher, 60, grew up in Kentucky, and lived for a time in Indianapolis before moving to Garfield County 28 years ago.
Before he broke into the hardware business, he owned and operated a Daylight Donuts franchise in Glenwood before answering a help wanted ad for the then-new True Value Hardware store, which took over an old Safeway building. True Value opened in 1986. That building, of course, was demolished over the last two weeks to make way for an expansion of Glenwood Springs High School. Maher said he thought his True Value job would be a temporary gig, but it lasted for two decades. He loved the job from the start. “It’s a job where you can help people on a daily basis and get paid for doing it,” he said. Asked what the highlights of his hardware career have been thus far, he said, “We were able to be instrumental in helping out firefighting efforts in both major fires in Glenwood.” True Value donated materials and money for those wildfires in 1994 and 2002.
“My wife and I worked closely with firefighting people in their base area in 1994,” he said. “It gave a real immediacy to the whole thing.”He said his wife had a summer job with the Colorado Department of Transportation obtaining firefighting supplies from the local businesses and the community. “If they needed 500 batteries for their radios and their flashlights, we found it for them,” Maher said. While family and Big John’s are important parts of Maher’s life, so are horses, he said. “We’re horse people,” he said. “We pack into the mountains.”His favorite place in the area is the Flat Tops Wilderness, where he horsepacks often. “I doubt there’s another place like it in the world,” he said.
Most of the trips he takes last three or four days, but one trip lasted nine. Once, he raised show horses. Now, he raises “mountain horses,” he said. Maher, who has lived on Silt Mesa for the last decade, said he doesn’t plan to make any moves again any time soon. Asked where he wants to be in five years, he said, “Right here.”Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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