Ron Menconi, Former VP for Merchandising at G.I. Joe’s, Spells out How to Succeed In Retail Today

  Check out Ron Menconi’s article in the May/June 2017 Sports Insight Magazine issue.  It is titled, “How Stores Can Thrive in a Tough Retail Environment.”

I enjoyed the insightful article, especially when he was bringing up ideas that G.I. Joe’s executed well!

Here is a link:

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Corky’s Farewell Memorial May 22, 2016

David (Corky) Orkney zoomed off to the great beyond (can’t you just imagine him driving his blue Carrera Porsche) in sync with his Celebration of Life Service just a year ago today.  That is because the celebration took place in a large white tent, just like a G.I. Joe’s Chalet at one of the many car races that Joe’s sponsored.

Many thanks to Mike Nealy of Global Events for creating the races ambience, including serving hot dogs and hamburgers at the reception.  I know Corky would have loved it!

Photo is of display at the reception after the service.  My mom, Charm Halligan is pictured in the middle photo receiving an award along with Corky.

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The Mystery Store Identified as Hayden Meadows/Delta Park!

Thanks to John, Mike Fitzhugh, Ed Darnell, and Carl Leach for identifying the location of the mystery store as Hayden Meadows in Delta Park in North Portland.  The clincher was decipering the Sleep Train store sign located to the left of G.I. Joe’s, which you can see here from an enlargement of part of the store photo.  Also note the boats for sale in front of Joe’s.  What a great place for boat sales so close to the Columbia!

As John says in his comment to, the store was on N. Hayden Meadows Drive and it is now the location of Dick’s.  John says that Fisherman’s Marine is now located in the former Sleep Train store.  Hmm…obviously it takes two other stores to even begin to match one G.I. Joe’s store!

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Dad’s First Newspaper Ad for G.I. Joe’s

Dad ran this small advertisement for G.I. surplus sleeping bags in The Oregonian classifieds in the early 1950s.

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Where was this store located?

Photo was taken in 1998.  Here is a possible clue of the location from a close-up of the SUV’s license plate.

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Can You Identify the Store Pictured in the Banner?

Here is the photo before it was cropped to fit the banner space.

Answer:  It is the Oak Grove Store on McLaughlin Blvd.  It was built in 1972.

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Tribute to David (Corky) Orkney

David (Corky) Orkney

May 30, 1946 to May 8, 2016

CEO of G.I. Joe’s from 1976 to 1992 and Chairman of the board from 1976 to 1998

Corky, my younger brother who loved G.I. Joe’s and G.I. Joe’s people and who never had a bad word to say about anybody.  He is missed.

Photo from 1991 pre-opening preparations for second Washington state store in Federal Way, between Seattle and Tacoma.

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The Earliest Photo I have of the Original G.I. Joe’s

Customers parked in front of that first G.I. hospital tent store on Vancouver Avenue in North Portland.  This was the original G.I. Joe’s that opened in 1948 and was owned by a number of partners, including my dad.

Part of the slogan is visible on the front of the tent, saying “Out of Town Shop.”  In 1952, Dad bought the business and became the sole owner.  You can read more about the original store and its part in the Vanport Flood of 1948 in the book, Growing Up… (available at and some Powell’s Bookstores).

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Here come the posts again!

I am recommitted to posting at!  I took some time off for a while and only posted on the Facebook page, Growing up With G.I. Joe’s.  I enjoyed reaching out through Facebook but am realizing that does not get the G.I. Joe’s story out the be searchable on the internet which I want to happen.

So, I am back and hope you are, too!

Photo from Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) show in Fall 2015.

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“The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and Charley Daniels Went to G.I. Joe’s Rockwood!

Charley Daniels stopped by G.I. Joe’s Rockwood’s store in southeast Multnomah County to meet fans before his concert that the Box Office was selling tickets for.  As Box Office manager, I went out to the store to welcome him and found Charley to be friendly and down-to-earth.  What a fiddle player he was and still is!

The photo was taken in 1979 or 1980.

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