“The early years of G.I. Joe’s happened in a special time and place. The time was special because it was the decade after World War II, when Americans were full of dreams and energy, working to build prosperous lives for themselves after the years of fighting and sacrifice.
The special place where G.I. Joe’s was located was Portland, Oregon, in the center of the Pacific Northwest, just across the Columbia River from Vancouver, Washington. There, in the middle of the twentieth century, perhaps residents lived more in tune with the rhythms of nature than folks did in most other places in America. After all, it had been less than a century since large numbers of pioneers settled in the region. The Tribal People were still fishing in the old ways on the Columbia, and magnificent old growth forests abounded.
And just like the time and place, early G.I. Joe’s was special. Folks loved to shop there, looking for the latest items for sale. A lot of the merchandise in the store was bought by my father, Ed Orkney, at government auctions of military merchandise left over from the war. And the auction merchandise that he bought was always changing, which meant that customers never knew what wonderful new items they would find in G.I. Joe’s sales bins and shelves.”
(Continued in the front of the book.)