By Victoria Martinez


Nursery Manager Gordon Young recently retired from Solvang’s Valley Hardware after 45 years of employment, leaving one less familiar face at the well-known hardware store.

“It has been a fun place to work. A lot of good people,” Young said.

Young came to Valley Hardware with some high school experience working in a nursery where he pulled weeds and planted roses. His affinity for roses stayed with him during his years at the hardware store, and he held a rose-pruning workshop each January.

Young was Valley Hardware’s first nursery manager.

“It’s grown a lot out there, thanks to Gordon,” store owner Ken Verkler said.

Verkler and Young started working at the hardware store on the same day in October 1972. They both laughed when they recalled transporting fresh Christmas trees from Los Angeles to the valley every year and the changes to both Solvang and the hardware store itself.

Photo contributed
Gordon Young, right, shown years ago with original Valley Hardware owner Bill Hanly, worked in and managed the store’s nursery for 45 years.

“Everything has changed out there, but for the better,” Young added.

Though Young still can be found at the hardware store every now and then for a quick shopping trip, he’s now enjoying more time at home with his wife, Marsha.

“We had a good run,” Verkler added.