John Acord didn't start out as an appliance repairman.
He was working on oil rigs in Saudi Arabia for Standard Oil when he and his wife decided to move back to California for the sake of their young son's schooling. Fixing broken washing machines and the like was a sideline he'd picked up overseas, filling a need and teaching himself as he went along.
Acord says a friend gave him the idea of starting his own repair business when he returned the the United States, and that's exactly what he did. In 1963, he set up shop on Calderon Avenue in Mountain View, took out a few newspaper ads (he'd missed the deadline for the Yellow Pages) and put up his card in local laundromats. For the next 50 years, Acord's Appliance Service did a steady business from referrals and repeat customers, he says. His motto: "All of your appliances in Acord."
"I started doing a considerable amount of business for apartment owners, and it grew and grew," he said.
Now, after half a century in Mountain View, he's retiring.
"When you get to be 85, it's time to stop," he says.
A long-time member of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, his business has always been based in Mountain View, although he lives across the border in Los Altos. He gave up his office space a few years back, but kept his Mountain View business license.
He still loves the work, but it's gotten harder since his back surgery, he says. An inveterate tinkerer, he says he'll probably still take on a job or two. "I love fiddling," he says. Acord and his wife Charlene have a motor home and a love of state parks, he says, and plan to put his new-found free time to good use.
He contacted the Voice about his retirement because he wanted a way to say thank you to his customers.
"It's been a good business. We never got rich, but the good Lord will supply," Acord says. "Mountain View has been very good to me."