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Building the way to the good life

Posted April 22, 2015 in Community Featured, Waukee

A lot has changed for the city of Waukee in the last five decades, but the drive for hard work and determination has never left this long-time local.

Guy Blair (pictured second from right) cannot be defined by his home, but his true heart can be seen in his determination to succeed. Blair can be seen at the job in this photo of Mobilgas in Waukee taken in 1954. Photo submitted.

Guy Blair (pictured second from right) cannot be defined by his home, but his true heart can be seen in his determination to succeed. Blair can be seen at the job in this photo of Mobilgas in Waukee taken in 1954.
Photo submitted.

Some things never change.

If you asked Guy Blair what his fondest memories were in the past 50-some years he has spent in Waukee, you’d be in for a long list. From farming to mechanical work and even as far as constructing some of the city’s finest stainless steel grills, this husband, father and grandfather has worn many hats during his Waukee residency. If Waukee truly is “the key to good living,” as its motto suggests, Guy Blair may have just built the lock, too.

He began skilled labor as a mechanic when he was a teenager and never missed a beat.

“Unless someone has lived here for 50 years, we probably don’t know them,” jokes his wife, Janice. When the couple wanted their own home in the now-budding Waukee, Janice admitted that things were very different then.

“You couldn’t buy, you couldn’t rent, you had to build,” she says.

And that’s what they did.

He might not be a master chef, but Guy Blair can certainly build a grill made for one. Photo by Chris Kelley. Above:

He might not be a master chef, but Guy Blair can certainly build a grill made for one.
Photo by Chris Kelley.

But it was no single house or address that ever defined Guy Blair. Instead, hard work and determination proved to be the hue of his true colors. Guy spent the early days of his working career in Waukee at the Waukee Motors DeSoto-Plymouth dealership as a mechanic.

“When I started working, I brought home $27 a week,” he says.

It wasn’t all glory, but it was hard work to be proud of. The Waukee Motors DeSoto-Plymouth dealership has since been refashioned as a florist shop. But the burning passion to create, build and share grew right along with the very city he lived in.

Determination and the means to provide for a growing family took Guy into the field of farming, minding an acreage just on the edge of the city. The move gave him an opportunity to concentrate on fixing, binding and building new projects. As an added bonus, each new homestead brought with it a different perspective on the fast-growing suburbia.

Life brought him back within city limits, but his hands never stopped moving. Guy’s talents birthed a stainless steel grill capable of making 120 hamburgers at once, a creation he gave to the local resident. While he worked hard to earn his keep, family and friends always came first. But Waukee is no longer the same young
town the Blairs raised a family in.

“The growth of Waukee was inevitable,” says the now-retired Guy. While he may not always enjoy the hustle and bustle of the expanding city, he’ll never let you see it. With a smile cracked and a joke on the tip of his tongue, Guy would be more than welcome to split a drink and a joke with you in his man cave. Some things never change.





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