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Issue Date: June 2009


Rating the Suburbs - Mentor-on-the-Lake

Cal Gandolf, 57
Owner of Cal’s Marathon
They take good care of the streets. I’ve got customers who say, “Just go around the block and hit a big bump, and you’ll hear the noise in my car.” You know what? It’s tough to find a big bump around here.

I was
out working at a Texaco in Richmond Heights. They knew I was looking for a station. I had just gotten out of the service.

I used to
live in Eastlake. They said, “Hey, we got a station for ya in your neck of the woods.” I came down here and looked at it, and it was all closed up and everything. I said, “Let’s give it a shot.” So I opened it up as a Texaco station 33 years ago. And here I am.

When I
came here, there was virtually nothing but wide-open fields. The grocery store was there. I was it. Me and McDonalds [laughs].

I miss
the old area, because now there is so much traffic all the time. But I like the business. This corner has been really good to me.

I know
just about everyone in the city, I’ve been here for so long.

Head Waters
across the street does lunch and dinner. They have the best burgers in town. Spuddy’s is right down the street. We have a lot of family-owned restaurants.

I think
I’m about the last ever to still do the full-service pump. I’ve actually tried to take it down a couple of times, and I’ll get phone calls.

I don’t believe
in those air machines that you put quarters in. I always have a hose out there, while we’re open, to let people use.

Andrews Road
is like downtown Mentor-on-the-Lake.

I’m here
14 hours a day.

We’re busier
in the summertime, with a lot of boats coming through.

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