Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Strange, Strange Case of Senator Stan Gerzofsky

He’s a helluva guy to figure out, track down, and keep up with, but Side will keep trying.

Brunswick’s own Stan Gerzofsky is the incumbent Senator in State District 10, and now finishing his tenth consecutive year in Maine’s Legislature. He is gregarious, full of surprises, and known as a man of some humility, integrity, and sincerity.

Stan’s proud of his humility; we remember him telling us how much more he knows than we do.  And he’s sincere, whether he means it or not; more than once he’s told us how highly he thinks of us.

Stan’s major accomplishments and varied life experiences go far beyond what lesser men could accomplish in his modest years.  As we’ve studied his resume, it almost seems like there’d have to be two of him to squeeze in all these achievements!

Let’s take a look.  To begin with, Stan is just a few months short of 66, a young man by today’s standards, and was born in New York City (  So now we know where that irresistible feisty streak of his comes from!

He first ran for the legislature 10 years ago, at age 55, and we recall reading that he was a “retired furniture manufacturer” then.

Stan notes that he “made a good living” as a furniture maker for 38 years (  So he began in that business at the early age of 17, or roughly 1961.  At the Chamber debate held in September, Stan said he “managed or owned the company for 25 of the 38 years.'”  Very impressive, you must admit.

We’ve asked Stan more than once where the furniture company is/was located, and what its name is/was.  Busy campaigning, he’s yet to respond.  There is, however, a report from a candidates’ event in Freeport this week, that Stan said the furniture business was in a small town in Vermont.

On the basis of that information, we deduce that Stan lived in Vermont from age 17 to 55, returning to Maine just in time for his first run for the house.  That would make him a Vermont resident from 1961 to 1999, give or take a few months either way.

That same Votesmart link posted above - ( – Says Stan was “Owner/Manager, Furniture and Manufacturer, 1965-1995.”  Something doesn’t seem to add up here, but we’ll go with Stan’s two recent statements that he spent 38 years in the business.

The Votesmart link also states that Stan attended Pasadena City College from 1964-1965.  That sounds like a place in California, not Vermont, but who are we to quibble?  California, Vermont, it’s all not Maine.

Which makes the following resume items a bit puzzling, all from the Votesmart link as well:

  • Courier, Maine State Senate, 1983-1985.
  • Member, Cumberland County Democratic Committee, 1990-present.
  • Member, Brunswick Democratic Town Committee, 1980-present.

Wow!  Stan is quite the spinning plate magician.  Managing/owning a furniture company in Vermont while running messages in the Maine Senate and doing Democratic committee work in Brunswick and Cumberland County.

A lesser man would have folded up his tent under such a load.  We’re talking about one really impressive guy here.

But wait; there’s more.  This spring, when Chellie Pingree came to town to visit with residents at the town library, we were lucky enough to chat with Stan and his legislative colleague Charlie Priest after the event.

We noticed that Stan was decked out in what we call "a sincere suit,” finished off with a dazzling pair of western boots, and in a spirit of bi-partisanship. we reached out and complimented him on how good he looked.  Representative Priest responded, suggesting we shouldn’t be surprised, because the Senator “used to own a chain of haberdashery stores.”

Later in that same little chat, Stan told us that he owns “a garage full of Harley Davidsons.”  You could have knocked this correspondent over with the front section of The Ostrich. 

In more recent discussions, the Senator told us he owns four Harleys, and that he preferred the term “clothing stores” over “haberdasheries.”  We’ve asked the Senator where the stores are/were, and what their name is/was, but once again, the press of campaigning seems to have gotten in the way of responding.

From a “personal statement” perspective, we think “haberdasheries” fits better with that big Cadillac Sedan we’ve seen him driving around.  It must be tough deciding which one of his “rides” to mount on any given day.

We sure hope none of his sustainable environment friends find out he tools around in the quintessential American gas gulper, leaving a carbon footprint far bigger than the tracks he makes with those Tony Lamas.  You’ve got to admit, though, that the Caddy seems a much better match to the man than a Prius or a Smart Car.  We don’t see the Senator opening himself up to “girly-man” taunts. 

And it’s a good thing the global warming crowd doesn’t know about that 38 foot cabin cruiser he owns; talk about a one-man climate change machine!

Phew…our heads are spinning here at the editorial offices.  Trying to discern when the Senator was in Vermont, or California, or Maine has us dizzy.  And that’s without trying to figure out how he juggled the haberdashery chain and the furniture business.  He’s got to be the original multi-tasker, what with having to deliver messages in the Senate along with all the other balls he had in the air.

As we hinted at in the opening to this essay, it’s a bit like Stan has crammed more into the years he’s been given than two ordinary men could.

Which is why we are convinced that more surprises will be in the offing from “Gerzofsky, Inc.”  And we’d like to suggest a clever idea for his next venture.

With Halloween fast approaching, and houses and kids in need of unique and scary decorations, the time is ripe for someone to open a Tangled Web Weaving Company here in town, making use of composite fibers from our emerging technology cluster.

Or, he could build a Merry-Go-Round on the town mall.  He seems to have lifelong experience in how to ride one.

Senator Stan seems like just the man to do either, and we have no doubt he is more than up to the challenge!  Here’s hoping he invites us to the ribbon cutting!

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