Press-Republican

Local News

September 19, 2012

Ready for retirement

Woman, 88,has a long history of employment

KEESEVILLE — Anna Rock, 88, luxuriates in the relaxation zone after seven decades of work.

“It’s wonderful, but I miss it,” Rock said of her recent retirement from Wilson Appliance Centers in Plattsburgh. “Nathan (Wilson) has been so good to me.”

Rock first went to work with the company for Nathan’s father, Mike Wilson.

“I used to do the mail and the billing,” Rock said. “Mike got sick and passed away, and Nathan took over the business. I stayed right on with Nathan until I retired a couple of weeks ago. I was there close to 40 years.”

Rock grew up in Dannemora, the daughter of Arthur and Ida Thompson.

“My father was in charge of Ward 5 at Dannemora State Prison. I had three sisters (Isabelle, Helen and Ruthie) and one brother (Richard). They are all deceased,” Rock said.

At Dannemora High School, Rock played basketball.

After graduation, she worked as a waitress.

“I worked for Tommy Finnegan in Cadyville and at the Witherill Hotel,” she said. 

She also worked at Knight Tavern, formerly located next door to the G & G Tire Company in Plattsburgh. She met her husband, Norman Rock, a mechanic at G & G, at the tavern. 

“Then, he went off to war. When he came back, we got married in 1948,” she said.

Three years later, the couple had triplet girls — Brenda, Linda and Norma, but Norma died at birth.

On the girls’ 10th birthday, the G & G Tire Company burnt down, taking with it the popular local tavern next door owned by the Gioiosa family. The Rock family lived in an apartment above the Tire Company.

Knight Tavern was not rebuilt, so Rock started waitressing at the Witherill Hotel owned by the Howell family.

“It was fantastic. I still miss it today. I never got a better education, respect and everything, than I got at the Witherill. It’s too bad they tore it down. Once in awhile, I was hostess. We had a uniform, prim and proper. We wore maroon-colored uniforms, white apron and white shoes. They had to be polished. You got checked when you got in. Those that weren’t neat were sent home,” she said.

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