Mr. Montgomery was in the shop Friday, March 11, and was in fine spirits. Two years ago the Mayor of Bremerton honored Mr. Montgomery for his decades of community service. I have the plaque on the wall of the shop. Here is what the Mayor said of him:
On November 12, 1942, Robert “Bob” Montgomery was invited to join the United States Army by none other than President Franklin Delano Roosevelt himself and so left the Puget Sound to fight in World War ll. Among other assignments, Bob served at Supreme Allied Command Headquarters in Europe and watched General Eisenhower come and go from his station. The war marched toward victory and finally Harry S. Truman invited Bob to march himself home in March 1946.
After the War, Bob moved with his father to Bremerton and set up shop. Both men were skilled typewriter craftsmen. As they didn’t yet have a storefront for themselves, Bob and his father worked on typewriters and office machines in the basement of a house they rented in Gorst for $30 per month. They struck a deal with Thompson’s Stationary Store on Fourth Street in downtown Bremerton: Thompson would display the typewriters and be the conduit for pick-up and delivery and the Montgomery’s would give him 20%.
Eventually, Bob moved the repair part of his business into the basement of a building across the street from Thomson’s Stationary. That office is now the garden-courtyard across from the spa and hair care shops in The Soriano Building on Fourth. He also had his store in the basement of Booth’s Pharmacy. Except for a ten year’s stay on Callow, Bob Montgomery has, in some form or fashion, owned and operated Bremerton Business Machine Company on Fourth Street in Downtown Bremerton for almost 70 years.
Bob’s geographic allegiance to our City wasn’t just in business, but in the arts too. In 1950, Mr. Montgomery was informed by a friend who was the local Buick dealer and actor, that Bob would be playing the part of a corrupt Senator in the local theatre production of ‘Born Yesterday’. “Why me?” Bob asked. He was told, “Because our first two choices just got drafted for the Army.”
Bob’s relationship with Bremerton Community Theatre continues steadily to this day. He has acted and/or been part of production and crew in over 145 shows from 1950 to 2012. Today Robert Montgomery is an archivist and Board Member Emeritus at BCT. And, we as citizens of this city are proud to say, he is still the owner/operator1 of Bremerton Office Machine Company on Fourth Street in Downtown Bremerton.
Bob is always at the ready with memories, anecdotes, and stories from our past; for his past is our past and it is our duty to give that gift to future generations by listening, learning and sharing the things that make Bob Montgomery so important to our lives. He is a treasure to us as a historian, and example to us as a citizen, and a friend to us as a neighbor.
As Technician 4th Grade in the United States Army, Sergeant Robert Edward Montgomery was released from service at Fort Lewis, Washington, on the 12th of March, 1946, and began a new life as living Bremerton institution. Therefore, in recognition of his lifetime service to City and Country, The Mayor of The City of Bremerton recognizes March 12, 2014, as Robert “Bob” Montgomery Day.
- Paul Lundy purchased Mr. Montgomery’s business in 2014, still at the Fourth Street location.