Randy Radtke started 44 years ago at what was then Gar Tootelian, Inc. (GAR), “I started working in the warehouse. I was still working on my continuing training. I had some of my PCA license but not all of it. After about six months, I became a scout and then a year later I went out on my own and started looking for my own accounts.”
Randy grew up in Orange Cove working on his dad and grandfather’s orange ranches, “I learned how to take care of weeds, lay fertilizer and even irrigation.” He graduated from Reedley High School with Gar’s daughter, Linda, in 1972. After high school, Randy attended Reedley College and then later graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
He came to GAR after working for Helena in Modesto, “I was working toward getting my license and found out GAR was hiring trainees. I decided to apply,” Randy explains, “It was easy to talk to Gar, he was very personal.”
Randy’s busy, day-to-day routine is like that of 40 years ago. “I keep up with growers daily,” he states, “On Monday I see one set of growers, Tuesday is another set and so on. Growers know what day and time I’m coming out because it’s the same every week.”
In his spare time, Randy enjoys wine tasting in Paso Robles and along the Central Coast. He and his wife, Karla, also enjoy antique shopping, “If we are traveling, and have time, we will stop. When I go antique shopping, the first thing I do is look at the books.” This led to an interesting discovery on one trip, “I found a book about my uncle’s bombing group during WWII. It was written by the Chaplain of the group. He kept a journal all through the war.” Randy’s uncle was a Prisoner of War (POW) during WWII, “The Chaplain journaled a conversation with my uncle at the beginning of the war, before he was shot down, and then crossed paths with him after the war in Paris. It was incredible to read about. I bought the book.”
Randy and Karla have three children: Thomas, James and Danielle. They recently became grandparents to Leon Roger Radtke (21 months) and look forward to visits in Wisconsin where he lives.