Our Vendors 

James Metzgar, staying young at heart

Fri, Aug 30, 2013

photo-1 “If you told me when I was young that I would work for the same company for 30 years, I would have been too polite to say otherwise,” says James Metzgar, a veteran employee of automobile-manufacturer Gold Eagle Co.

Work, however, was nothing new to Metzgar. After majoring in sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso, Metzgar returned home to Chicago and searched for work. “I never wanted to get to somewhere without doing good work for it, because that would hurt my conscience,” says Metzgar.

Upon introduction to the job market, Metzgar struggled with finding and holding on to a job–until he found Gold Eagle Co.

At Gold Eagle Co., Metzgar lent a loyal hand on the production line, on the janitorial staff, and in the repack room. “I could have done it without a college degree,” says Metzgar. “But now I feel that I am putting my knowledge to far better use, not by just being a vendor, but by being in the Writer’s Club.”

Just as Metzgar wore several hats at Gold Eagle Co., Metzgar remains as involved as possible at StreetWise. “I like the idea of being my own boss and deciding where and when I work,” says Metzgar. “Lately, I have enjoyed being a part of StreetWise so much more because I am not only just vending.”

Metzgar has made two appearances on StreetWise StreetScene. As a key member of the Writer’s Club, Metzgar also spends time working on select articles for the magazine. “I get to do so much more than just selling. I look at Streetwise as being a late life second career!” says Metzgar. Also in the Writer’s Club, Metzgar shares his love of poetry.

A minor poet himself, Metzgar remembers many of the nursery rhymes that his mother got stuck in his head during childhood, such as The Tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. “I still remember it,” says Metzgar.

One of Metzgar’s most beloved original poems illustrates of the beauty of snow. “Though I grow old, I shall always love the cold, when it brings a white blanket of snow,” recites Metzgar. “Whether people agree with my sentiments or not, everyone who hears it says it is a beautiful poem.”

Metzgar has never lost his love for snow, and as an avid cross country skier, he has a passion for being outdoors–especially in the winter. Over the years, in fact, Metzgar has traveled from one end of Lincoln Park to the other atop skis.

He has also found work as a Salvation Army bell ringer to stand below the snow flurries during the holidays.

Metzgar continues to keep himself busy with work and his hobbies because he lives a self-driven active lifestyle. “Despite what my chronological age is,” says Metzgar, “to be active makes senior citizens like myself feel younger and remain young at heart.”

Metzgar stands the corner of Madison and Lasalle daily, knowing that he is doing a fine job and eagerly awaiting the first snowflake to fall.

By Josh Kahn,
StreetWise Contributor

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