Gordon ‘Ray’ Nave

I began my career with Sav-on on September 7, 1961, and as of this date, remain employed with CVS/pharmacy.


My then assistant manager Maury Freidson became my manager then was later my district manager at the many store locations where I worked over the years. An awesome part of Sav-on history! All of my work locations have been in southern California. I began in Garden Grove, spent two years in the Army and returned to that store. I then went to a store at State College, and Lincoln. Not necessarily in this order, I then was at the following stores: Los Altos-Long Beach, Buena Park, Fullerton, Norwalk, Downey, Hawthorne, Bixby Knowles-Long Beach, Lakewood Mall, back to Garden Grove, then to my present location: Orange, at Katella, and Tustin.


It was a totally different world back then! No warehouse at first, so we received trucks all day long! From 20 minutes order to 100s of cases! Garden Grove had a full basement, stocked full of cases, and many boxed up layaways during Christmas! These were written up by hand, as were doctor's charges at the employee discount rate, written up in triplicate by hand. Merchandise cases were all coded on the outside using control cards with the ONDRUGSAVE code, then marked with hand crank, or electric machines, some of which used metal type for ea. character/number to be inserted to print the tag. All sale items had to be marked with red sale tags, which had to be removed after the sale. NO balers for hundreds of empty boxes each day!


The mother of R. L. Call, Savon’s President, was our Blue Chip Stamp girl, across from the Ice Cream dipper dept. The 4th, and Pine store in Long Beach used to sell goldfish! The office girl used to count all tills, and pour the coins in counters, and pay us with cash in little envelopes. Our annual $.66 cent toy sale requited overheads above ALL gondolas where we stacked toys all the way to the high ceilings, and had "lips" that had to be kept filled with ladder take downs of the top items ea. day. An all-night shift had to be ongoing during the Christmas holidays, and often all year, but the store itself was closed overnight. Hundreds of cases came in for the toy sale, with more fill in thereafter.


There was a LOT of employees as there was a LOT of work! Automation, technology, and scanning, and warehouses have changed that. A lot of employees meant a lot of camaraderie, hard work, and some fun times! Dee Gardner hired me as my first mgr. He was a GREAT man! A great businessman, and became a Vice President. It was before my hire date that the following story occurred. Two guys were cutting up in the basement, and one went upstairs. Thinking that he was coming back downstairs, the other hid behind the doorway, and as he entered, he sprayed him in the face with shaving!

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