FROM PHIL'S TO BOB'S
By Ray Linker
Observer Staff Writer
Bob Bushek has been hunting in this area for a lot of years. Now he won't have to drive so far to chase his next deer or elk.
Bushek, who had lived in Portland, moved to Island City recently and took over ownership of Phil's Outdoor Surplus and More. He and his wife, Charlene, bought the business at 1417 Jefferson Ave. in La Grande from Phil Gillette, who had run it for about seven years.
The Busheks have changed the name to Bob's Outdoor Surplus and More.
"We gave up our big city jobs of 18 years to buy this," Charlene said.
She was a machinist, making paint brushes, for Pretty Brush Co. He was a technician for Suburban Propane.
"I've always hunted and I like this area," said Bob. "I've hunted in this area for 24 years. I've gotten a lot of deer and elk. I've been an archery hunter for a long time."
They plan to boost the inventory of all kinds, add a line of propane equipment, and add a line of fishing equipment and gear. They will continue the surplus items, they said, and, of course, continue the archery hunting equipment and clothing.
They will continue to operate the indoor shooting range, they said.
Counting the range, there is 6,000 square feet of space in the building, which they are leasing.
"We're here to satisfy the customer," Bob said. "We plan on being here a long time and we want to do a good job serving our customers. Maybe in 20 years or so we can turn over management to our son."
Cody is 10 and enjoying his new home in Island City and going to the small Island City school. He's been an archery shooter since he was 2, his parents said.
Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The phone number is 963-6828, the same number Phil had.
They plan to keep regular hours at the store, besides the time they have spent sprucing up things to get their new business under way.
Gillette plans to continue working for the La Grande School District, mainly doing the custodial work associated with the district athletic programs.
He also has a couple of other irons in the fire.
"I've got a couple of prospects of what I'm going to be doing," he said. "One will be manufacturing wildlife iron ornaments, from such things as welcome mats to big commercial signs. And I'm going to make a little antler furniture and other items, including antler chandeliers."
He is now building a shop at his home near the fairgrounds where he will produce the items.
"It just got to the point where I was going to have to close the store or sell it, and I think I found some pretty good buyers. They're nice folks. They'll do really well. And I want to thank all my customers for their loyalty and hope they'll patronize the new owners."