Christine Gilmore wore many hats in 1969

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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Originally published as part of a series on Careers for Women in 1969 and this story about Christine Gilmore.

The myth of the business woman as a cold-hearted, calculating person is exploded when Mrs. Christine Gilmore is met.  Mrs. Gilmore has been owner and manager of a local laundry for five years.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Making her start in the laundry and dry cleaning enterprise with no experience, Mrs. Gilmore has built up a successful business.  “I do a little bit of everything here,” she commented.  ‘Everything’ includes repairing clothing, driving the delivery trucks, actual cleaning of garments, waiting on customers, billing and even making  minor machinery repairs.

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“It took me about six months to really feel at home and sure of myself in this business.  Now I don’t have to hesitate before I answer questions the customers ask.”

The staff of the laundry has changed completely since Mrs. Gilmore began to operate the cleaners.  Most of the present staff members have been with Mrs. Gilmore for at least three years.

Waiting on customers and getting to know them is Mrs. Gilmore’s favorite part of her occupation .  “I have made new friends here.  Most of the customers who we deal with often just call me Christine.”

Another plus for having her own business is that she can find time to spend with her children.  Sherene, who is 14, and George, Jr. who is ten, find time to help out a little when school, church and social activities permit.  “Even if they are not helping, just having them here gives us time to talk.”

George Gilmore, Sr. is sometimes pressed into service for machinery repairs.  He is employed by the State Highway Department.  He is a native of Troy and Mrs. Gilmore is from Coffee County.  “We lived away from Troy for about six years and were happy to move back.”

The most difficult task in her business for Mrs. Gilmore is the actual dry cleaning process.  “I haven’t done a lot of it, but you have to be very careful in this part of the work.”

With fall and the  football season coming up, the busy season will begin for Mrs. Gilmore.  “Summer is our slow season,” Mrs. Gilmore explained.  “We really get busy during football season.  People come to get the clothes we have had in storage for them.  Others bring their winter clothes in for cleaning and pressing.  Of course, they bring them back as they are worn during the colder weather.”

Preparing for the busy time ahead, Mrs. Gilmore is planning to install some new equipment.  Having attended a recent convention in Atlanta, she has an idea of the changes that could be made in her present location.

“We plan to do a little remodeling.  We won’t do it all at once, just a bit at a time.”  A name change is also contemplated.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.